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As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Wonder: Shah Wharton

And contestant number two is.....dum dum dum.....Shah Wharton! Now, I have known Shah for a little while now, before my days as a blogger. We first met on WEbook.com where we shared our poetry and she became a very active member of the Writer's Guild writing contests I help judge on a regular basis. She's a lovely lady and here's a bit more about here in her own words...

General Questions…

Name: Shah Wharton
Penname: Shahw1
A sentence or two about yourself: I’m complex in the simplest terms.
A sentence or two on what your blog is about: Words, paint, film: creativity in all forms. Also, on a more personal note: survivor life and mental illness.

Book Lover Questions…

What is your favorite book and why? I really cannot choose. A favorite is Dracula because it’s written so well, because the characters are powerfully present, and the vampires are mean, old and ugly! Although I do love the Damon’s in our more contemporary vampire world, it’s good to remind ourselves that vampires would not be beautiful.
Other favorites?  All True Bloods, Twilights, Larrson’s trilogy, Carmilla, Maya Angelo’s biography collection and her poetry.
What’s your favorite genre to read? I love horror (egs. The Strain) and most period dramas (Emma and Sense and Sensibility). There is quite a bridge between those I realize – I don’t have any explanation for that. And psychological thrillers too (Shutter Island, Silence of the Lambs). I would hazard a guess that I’m a thrill seeker. In the horror there is the thrill of impending death, in the period dramas there is always a struggle to secure love, and in the psychological thriller – well there’s always a chase to a climactic ending, where all things become cleverly revealed and concluded. Aside from these I love to check in with poetry and short stories too for instant gratification.
Where do you like to read? In bed with hot milk. Otherwise, whenever I’m travelling – It’s my valium!
Do you prefer paper books or ebooks? eBooks now because it’s a bookshelf in my handbag. I can buy books anywhere and read them on my phone, kindle, laptop. It’s a marvelous invention ecologically too. I thought I’d really miss the feel of paper in my hand but I don’t. The one thing I do miss is the cover. You do get cover’s on kindles but they’re black and white. Not the same as a glossy cover. But you’d get that on an iPad.
Do you prefer to buy or borrow books? I buy them on my kindle, but I’d buy or borrow when I read books. Not sure it bothers me either way. I enjoyed seeing other peoples bookmarks, imagining what there liked on that page if they underlined something. I used to do that a lot. Pencil everywhere. You can make notes and share highlights on kindle.
Do you stop reading when you are tired or when you hit chapter breaks? I usually try to reach the next chapter before putting it down. But if I’m tired I would just put it down and sleep – I have trouble sleeping so if my eyes tell me to sleep I don’t argue!
When you finish a book do you usually keep it, throw it away, sell it, or give it away? All of the above. It was from the proceeds of selling books that I purchased my kindle. I do have a lot which I wouldn’t sell or get rid of in any way. But most of the reads from the last couple of years were great to read once but I knew I’d never read them again. Plus we moved from U.K to Dubai in October  2010 so needed to reduce my bulk a little ;)
What helps you decide on a book? (Book reviews, suggested by friend, by browsing the shelves, etc.) Again, all of the above. I look for genre, plot, cover, reviews, and recommendation – not necessarily in that order.
Do prefer to read a book that stands on its own or is a part of a series?  I prefer series to stand alone books generally, so I’d usually read all of a series if I pick up the first one. I read all of Vampire Diaries and everyone knows they’re not the best written books ever – far from it – but I started so I’ll finish. I get addicted to characters

New ButtonSo You Want to be a Writer questions…

A few sentences about your writing: What do you write (blog entries, novels, poetry, etc)? Why do you write?I write because it makes sense. I can’t put it any other way and mean it. It just feels correct to me. Nothing else ever felt right. I wish I’d done more of it when I was younger. I wish I’d studied it at university. I wish I’d taken those dreams, tracked them down and shackled them to my heart. But I didn’t, so I’m going to have to do so now.
I began writing poetry early, influenced and egged on by my dad. It was my cathartic tool for many years. The only people allowed to see it were my dad and the occasional friend. Then, only a couple of years ago I found WeBook.com. Fabulous. I finally put my writing out there to be reviewed. People were kind and left great feedback about my poems. It built my confidence greatly.
Then, filled to the brim with enthusiasm (and quite manic I recall) I started writing a novel, though it started out as my first short story. Eight chapters in one go, I wrote. I’ve been editing it ever since. With the help of people like you, Aubrie, I’ve learned a lot about grammar that I’d never learned (my school was not one of the best). Since then I’ve been submitting to some of the challenges on WeBook and elsewhere. I got two of my poems published and one of my short stories came second in a writing challenge. In fact, I found I learned so much from writing short stories that I wrote went on to write lots of them.
I really want to finish my first novel this year.
Did you always know that you wanted to write? Yes, but I never felt able. I came from a working class background where women were raised to be wives and mothers, not write books or go to university. I always dreamed of becoming a writer, moaning because reality prevented it. I realize now that I am a writer. I always was.

Favorite Questions…

What’s your favorite food? Sunday Roast with all the trimmings.
Favorite color? Red or black.
Favorite song? Just Like a Woman by Bob Dylan, sung by Nina Simone.
Favorite movie? Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Psycho, Frankie and Johnny, 28 Days Later (and 28 Weeks Later), loads…. Harry Potter (all of them),
Favorite TV show? True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Walking Dead, Eastenders, Desperate Housewives, loads….

Random Questions…

If you developed a superpower what would it be and why?  To fly – I used to dream as a child that if I ran fast enough I would fly. I was bullied at school and longed for this to be true.
What did you want to be when you were little? Apart from a flying superhero who wasn’t bullied – errrm – that’s easy: A female version of Bob Dylan. Yep, my dad was proud of that wish. He used to write poems and songs for local bands and he loved Bob. I wanted to be a singer song-writer like him. Alas, I couldn’t sing, and used to skip guitar lessons with my uncle because my fingers were so sore after a few lessons. 
What is the answer to life? Let inspiration be your guide…


Well, that's it! Another round of applause for our Weekend Wonder! Feel free to ask questions, start up some discussion. I am sure Shah would be more than willing to communicate with you guys!

Also, you can be a Weekend Wonder too! Just check out this post to find out how...A Celebration for 200 Followers! Until next weekend my Wonders!


  1. Dubai? I'm intrigued. I had an opportunity for work there once and passed it up...I've been wondering ever since!

  2. Hi Shah,
    You have very interesting biography - I especially like your answer to life. My godfather went to Dubia and brought us back some excellent gifts. I checked out Words in Sync and it's a fabulous blog and I recommend it to everyone! - the amount of followers...
    Hoping to here from you soon

  3. Haha I love your blog Shah. And this definitely is awesome!! <3 Congrats! <3

  4. Hi everyone - sorry it took so long to reply I've not been in much today - just got back in though for the evening so you have my attention. Thanks first of all to AubrieAnne for having me featured on her super blog. Some really great questions were asked, and I really enjoyed answering them.

    Hi Dawn - where's you email address girlie - need to send you your invite! ;)

    Shah .X
    Michelle -
    dtwilight - (many thanks for recommendation - says a lot coming from your blogs)
    Re Dubai:
    I would perhaps never have been tempted to come here had it not been a necessity, but now I'm here its fine. There is the weather to get used to (SCORCHIO) and the custom (not holding hands or kissing the hubs in public - limited alcohol and medications - the prayers sung loudly over huge speakers and few hours for everyone to hear for miles around) - but you get used to it. It's not cheap to live here either! But my husband needed this job and we couldn't turn it down. I wouldn't want to be here as a single woman though. They are not greatly respected - without my marriage certificate I would have limited medical access for egs. It's a great holiday destinations though, and every culture imaginable is represented here. I like that.

    Matt: Hello ;)!

  5. Ha - My message is all up side down? Have no idea why. Dah!

  6. Shah...That's so cool. I never knew that much about Dubai, all the customs and their different view points on some things. It's very interesting. Where are you from originally? I don't know if I ever asked you that or not.

  7. hmmmm...books are my valium as well. :)

  8. This is fabulous, unique and great! I love it and this feature you are doing :)


  9. Katie...Thank you. I'm glad that so many people have been showing interest in it!

  10. I'm stopping by from the Sunday Blog Hop. I got to know you AND another cool internet person. I'm following with GFC, I hope you had a nice weekend.

  11. our village is a little different...Thanks for stopping by and for following. I am so happy you were able to ge to know a few of us today. :) I hope you had a great weekend as well!

  12. Hey Shah

    It's no wonder your blog is so brilliant - your life is very full, and living in Dubai would add fuel to your creativity. Great bio, and such a great idea, AubrieAnne. We can get to know our cyber buddies just that little bit better! Loving this space <3

  13. Moana...Well said! and thank you!

  14. Thanks AubrieAnne for introducing Shah.. It is so interesting to read about all these creative people.

    Hi Shah, I popped in to see your blog,will have to pop in more often to read the book reviews.:)


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