Doesn’t she just sound like someone who will have a book in Barnes and Noble found in the “Staff Favorites” section? She does. That was rhetorical. I didn’t need your input. I was just being polite. Which you can thank Ellie for, because as I’ve gotten to know her on an internetual-level, beyond her very obvious talent, she’s also extraordinarily nice, helpful and generous with her time and compliments.
See that? She’s not just an amazing writer. She’s a role model. You guys! Ellie is like a much cooler and steampunkier Oprah. Or maybe Oprah is a more mainstream Ellie. PERSPECTIVES!
At any rate, let’s not gloss over her vast talents. Click here to visit her fantastic blog, which is as well-written and interesting as it is diverse. If Twitter is your game, then do your brain, your heart, and the very foundation of your soul a favor and follow her here.
Five Questions About Ellie
1. What originally led you to start blogging / writing?
Why did I start a blog? My husband and children and stuffed animals were tired of me telling them every single one of my thoughts.
No, I’m just kidding of course. They never tire of my fascinating dialogue about the plot holes in Captain America or how our dishwasher sounds like the AT-AT from Star Wars.
The real reason behind my blog is to write. It’s that simple. I want to become a better writer, so I’m learning how to connect with people through a blog. If I can learn that art of knowing what people like and what they don’t, it will improve my fiction.
2. Describe your usual writing process.
I usually write while I’m doing chores. Vacuuming, dishes, cleaning the toilet, picking up toys, sweeping. Of course I don’t lug my laptop around with me, but I’m creating scenes and sentences and characters in my head as I work so that when I have the time to sit in front of my computer, it’s all in my head and I just have to release it through my fingertips. I like to call this method the ironing and ionization non-method. (http://writinggig.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/ellie-ann-battles-ironing-and-ionization/)
3.I understand that you have a couple of exciting projects in the mix. Would you care to tease them a bit?
If you are referring to the refrigerator time machine I’m working on, I’m afraid to tell you it’s not going very well. Who knew supramolecular complexes machines would be so expensive?
If you’re referring to my short film screenplay, The Good Door, that is up in the air. A director has it, but all writers know that their timing is not like our timing, a day in our life is like seven days in theirs. So who knows when I’ll hear back from him, and when I do hear back from him, who knows if the news will be exciting? So as I wait, I’m writing another screenplay.
I am really excited about a book I just wrote with Albert Berg, who’s a supertalent and great fun to work with. We’ve finished the first draft of a love story about a boy and girl living in a steampunk version of ancient Persia, and we are currently editing its guts out.
I’m also trying to teach my children their colors, numbers, letters, and how not to eat candy off of the ground. It’s harder than it sounds, but very rewarding.
4. Consider the cartoon duo of Tom and Jerry. Do you think the fundamental element behind their relationship is a mutual respect for each other’s role as antagonist and a desire to stay true to this dynamic and perpetuation of the inherent antagonism they share towards each other OR is it simply a pure and burning hatred for each other?
When you look deep into Tom and Jerry’s eyes, you know they are just filling in their roles, trapped in the vicious cycle of the eye for an eye mentality. I believe if society’s eyes were off of them, they’d put away their TNT and share a saucer of milk, laughing over all the times Tom got locked out of the house.
5. Give us some blogs you personally recommend reading.
Oh it’s so hard to narrow it down. It’s like asking me what my favorite Chinese entrée is—they’re all SO good! But here are some that come instantly to mind:
1. Let’s assume that the zombie apocalypse is happening. Miraculously, you happen upon a self-flying helicopter that comes with a tracking system that knows the exact location of any relevant human with even the most minimal amount of celebrity or fame.
Assuming you have already located and rescued all of your loved ones and closest friends, what 5 celebrities / famous people would you pick up via your self-operating helicopter to help you survive and why?
1.Dirk Nowitzki. The Mav’s power forward seems like he’d be very good at bashing brains. Plus, unlike most other sports heroes, he is quite humble and has a good sense of humor.
2.Iron Chef’s Morimoto. He’d be able to teach us the art of sushi making in our post-apocalyptic compound, plus he looks like he has a couple thousand martial arts moves up his sleeve.
3.Emily Blunt. She’s so funny and cute it tears me up to think of her as zombie supper. Plus, she seems like she’s a quick thinker.
4.Matt Damon. Smart, funny, good-natured, hard working, able to laugh at himself…I’d rescue him.
5.Queen Rania of Jordan. Everyone needs a leader—she’ll be ours. Plus, she’s sweet and funny.
I guess the most important quality to me during a zombie apocalypse is humor—if you can’t laugh about the absurdity of it all then I might as well toss in the pitchfork and be done with it.
2. Let’s assume that in a parallel universe, super heroes do exist.
Let’s further assume that, of late, there have been some scandals attached to some fringe superheroes, so the United Nations has mandated that a strict policy of admittance be formulated to discern who is and who is not a super hero so that the race of superheroes can be properly held accountable for their actions.
You, Ellie, in an existence defined by plucky determination, guile and a thirst for justice have risen to prominence as an accomplished defense attorney of superheroes who specializes in establishing superhero credibility.
Through an ongoing litigious melodrama, the membership of two superheroes has been questioned and you are tasked with defending one of the superheroes over the validity of his membership over another one.
Your client is Batman and you must make the case for his membership over Captain Planet. What are the most salient points of your defense and how do you compel the panel to allow Batman entrance over Captain Planet?
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, today we have a startling case before us. It is shocking in its simplicity. You have two men standing in front of you claiming to be superheroes, but I say only Batman is the true superhero. Let’s dissect two key elements of what it takes to be a superhero:
First, a superhero needs quality villains. Now I’m not saying that Hoggish Greedly and Sly Sludge aren’t villains—but they’re not. Fighting against a litterer is only compelling to maintenance men and baby seals.
However, when you’re faced with the Joker, who takes children hostage, destroys hospitals, and turns normal citizens into potential bombers, you’ve got a whole lot more excitement going for you. Honestly, if the Joker is aiming his tommy gun at me, I’m not going to be too concerned that a poacher is killing off the white rhinos.
Second, a superhero needs screwed up relationships. As a supernatural entity, Captain Planet doesn’t get into too much trouble with the ladies. However, Batman does. With his love interest, Rachel, he not only turns her against him by his emotional constipation, but she’s dead by the end of the show. Dead.
So as you can see, Batman is much more qualified to be registered in the superhero database, not Captain Planet.
3. Let’s assume that tomorrow, you will be involved in a freak accident. Afterwards, you will exist in a limbo of sorts between heaven and earth. While there, Christ will visit you and offer you the following proposition.
A) You can restart your life at the age of 11 and you can do so knowing everything you currently know now. All the wisdom you’ve gathered and experiences you’ve had will stay intact and you will be able to affect a great change on the world and people around you because of this.
However, you won’t be able to age any older than you currently are and the accident that sent you to limbo will be what ends your life in the rebooted version.
B) You can continue your life as usual. This means you could die in a week or you could live for 80 more years.
Which option do you select?
I choose B! I want to grow old, without a doubt. I’d rather run around the world as a smart forty year old than a smart fourteen year old. Fourteen year olds get no cred, they can’t drink champagne, and most importantly, they can’t travel alone. Ooo, fourteen. I thank Jesus I won’t have to be fourteen ever again. I love each day and don’t want to be young again. I’m excited for the future.
4. Let’s assume that you’ve been thrust via time travel into a medieval society. Through various instances of bravery, the King has presented you with a sword as Defender of the Kingdom and asks you to give the sword a name that reflects a scholarly and intimidating influence. What name do you give to this sword?
Prodigium Macto – (translation for all you peasants out there: Monster Slayer)
5. Let’s assume you are an artist. While visiting a Starbucks and consuming a breakfast sandwich, an angel comes to you in a vision and bestows the inspiration for what will unequivocally be the greatest work of art that the world has ever or will ever know.
The angel then tells you that for reasons unknown, only one gender will be able to view your work. Which gender do you choose and why?
Psshht! Women of course! If my daughters don’t get to see what I create, a lot of my joy in it would go missing.
Five Final Random Questions
1. Which Wizard of Oz character are you most like?
My heart and courage sometimes act without consulting my brain.
2. What’s something the average human would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m scared of the dark. Don’t tell anyone.
3. Who is the Frank Sinatra of our generation?
Oh dear I’m not terribly good at music questions. Is Frank Sinatra the guy that sings This Town? The guy with dreamy blue eyes? If yes, then I’m afraid I don’t have a good answer because all the awesome music guys I can think of (The Civil Wars, The Decemberists, Mumford & Sons, Josh Ritter) all have brown or green eyes.
4. What is your biggest pipedream?
To teach public health and creative writing to teens and women in the Middle East.
5. In 10 years, where do you hope to find yourself?
I hope to find myself living in the Middle East, with a book that people can buy, be it self-published or through a literary agent. And I hope to be able to say, “why yes, I did know Knox McCoy way back when … before he became the worldwide YouTube phenomenon.”