NTMI: Good evening everyone! I'm here this evening with Chimesjon, whose fascination with fuzzles has helped him get no less than twenty pieces into the Neopian Times. Good evening, Chimesjon!
Chimesjon: Good evening to you too! Honored to be here.
NTMI: Chimesjon, the first question I have is, how did you find out about Neopets?
Chimesjon: I first found out in my mom's office when I saw my distant cousin playing this unfamiliar website called Neopets. I didn't join though until I found out some of my other close friends were playing Neopets. So I decided I'd give it a try during the evening. Everything was simple on the signing up part...well...most of it. My username was the most difficult one. It took me fifteen minutes for an idea to pop up.. I tried something simple like Jonl, but then it was taken. I tried over sixteen different ones (no, literally) in order to get one. I finally came up with a username and joined Neopets the next morning.
NTMI: What prompted you to try Chimesjon?
Chimesjon: For some reason I wanted to include my name in short (Jon) in the username, but then all I came up with were taken :-(. So then I tried out my middle name, Chi Ming. It was a big mistake when I found out I left out the "g," so now I'm stuck with Chimes-Jon.
NTMI: Well if it's any comfort, many immigrants to another country wound up with their LEGAL names mis-spelled because of that same sort of mistake... so, what do you enjoy most about Neopets?
Chimesjon: When I first joined Neopets, I was most interested when one of my many cousins introduced me to the Wheel of Excitement. Back then it still cost 100 NP, but we only had to wait 30 minutes until we could try it again. Meanwhile I tried out the Mediocre wheel...it's really...how can I say? Boring..Lol, but I guess the games were really good, like Meerca Chase. I lost faith in Excitement when Ranuth my Shoyru caught a case of D'Achoo from it. The cure was over 30,000 NP! What a shame. Anyway, my definite favorite feature of Neopets is the Neopian Times! The first story that introduced me to the NT was entitled 'Soup For the Soul.' It's one of my favorites :-). When I saw loads of other stories from people like al_the_chia and dragonshark173, I really wanted to try to get something in and publish it. My first attempt was a four-part series called 'Never Underestimate the Power of Books.' It was a first person perspective type of story. Well, it didn't get in, and now after all that time I realize so many mistakes...especially the length. Each part was hardly half of a page! Right now I'm able to rewrite it once again, but I decided I'd give it a rest.
NTMI: So what do you like to write best for the Times?
Chimesjon: Most definitely the short stories. Still, my first published work was entitled, 'The Neopian Academy,' which was an incredibly short article that amazingly got in. I was really interested when I received a whole load of feedback, so I decided to write a sequel (' Neopian Schools'). I got even more feedback, and I was really encouraged to continue my writing.
NTMI: Now that we know the inspiration to start writing in general, how about in particular- how do you get the ideas for your stories?
Chimesjon: I got the idea of a Fuzzle story when I came across an article in the old Neopian Times version. It was called 'Fuzzle Evolution,' and I give a whole lot of credit to the author of that very article. The idea didn't come to me until the article came back into memory. Then I wanted to write a short story with a Fuzzle that came to life, which was called 'The Fuzzle Journey.' I didn't introduce Zack the main character to the Neopian world as a real pet until 'Fuzzle Changes.' I was planning on settling it from there and try to come up with other stories or articles not relating to Fuzzles. But somehow I couldn't keep my mind off of Fuzzles, and I got several messages asking me to continue the stories. My original name for the stories was The Fuzzle Saga, but changed to The Fuzzle Chronicles when I was inspired by Ray Bradbury's first work, the Martian Chronicles.
NTMI: Once you get the idea for a story, how long does it take to write it?
Chimesjon: The first stories were very short, and I was a bit rusty with the keyboard at the time. It usually takes about 1 hour or so if undisturbed, because usually I get to use the Internet after being tutored, which is usually around 6 PM, and dinner often comes in shortly. I came up with a great boost, eventually showing up with a story for every issue. At some times I struggled with the titles or a main plot. The only article I've ever written pertaining to Fuzzles was 'The Way of the Fuzzle.' And to be honest, Pumpkins and Fuzzles wasn't really the name I planned at first. I considered 'The Fuzzle Halloween,' but I settled for the other title available. As the weeks turned into months, the stories became longer, including Fuzzle Freeze and Fuzzle Spirits. Those took a tad longer to write, about a day or two :-P. Series usually don't get in until the other week after, as I never seem to finish it on time.
NTMI: What is the most important piece of advice you could give to someone who is trying to get into the Times?
Chimesjon: I'd say 'Never give up! Never!' We all get the same experiences. Some of my stories were rejected once or twice, but then I come up with another idea eventually. Another piece of advice is to keep browsing casually around the Internet or watch TV. Television really gives me an inspiration for stories, and of course, to all you readers, keep reading other works like literature! They really help, literally. :-)
NTMI: I've heard it said that all writers tend to be voracious and omnivorous readers, and I'm sure there's some truth in it. So what sort of feedback do you get from your stories?
Chimesjon: I don't get feedback very often, but once in a while I get complimenting Neomails from people, and once I got one that asked me to write a story for them. Of course I turned him down in a non-offensive way, and he ended up sending me hate mail. But the majority is good, and I don't get much offensive mail very often at all.
NTMI: Are there other problems about being a writer for the Times besides the occasional hate mail?
Chimesjon: Definitely. The main problem about being a writer is Writer's Block. I always have a rough time whenever I write a series...it somehow gives me frustration after it's done. The other problem is at school. I've loads of projects and assignments to do, and luckily I always find a way to pass with flying colors ;-)...hm, I wonder where that metaphor 'flying colors' ever came from. Those are probably the only problems, and one of them that I've gotten over is the discouragement whenever a work was rejected. I've become used to that now, as most are accepted. Heheh
NTMI: "Flying Colors" would refer to flags, in particular during a battle, I believe... That might be an interesting subject to check into, though! So what about being accepted outside of the Times? Anything else published on Neopets?
Chimesjon: Not much. I've never really done much, except probably writing a school project. One time my classmates and I had to write a "children's book." That was an earlier experience before I got published. I often get small poems put up in class, but that's it. :P
NTMI: So what plans do you have for your writing in the future?
Chimesjon: Not really sure. I guess I'd stick to the Times for a while. For the Times, I'm going to submit another short story after the 10 to 11 week Writer's Block recently. I'm planning for it to be a first person perspective type with a Flaming Wuzzle named after a good friend :-). Later on I'd like to write a series called 'Fuzzles in Space,' but I just havenít the time to finish it up just yet. I'm not exactly sure for anything outside of Neopets, but who knows? Things happen everyday.
NTMI: So true! So stay tuned, folks, you never know what's lurking in that next issue... Chimesjon, was there anything else you wanted to tell our readers?
Chimesjon: Yes. I want to say THANKS to all those who encouraged me, and save Fuzzles!! Ok, I'm not that addicted, but anyway, thanks to everyone, especially to musicmaster1989 and ryoko85175!
NTMI: So there you have it, folks, from the fuzzologist himself. Thanks so much for your time, Chimesjon!
Chimesjon: Thank you too! Have a great evening and best wishes! :-)
Would you like to read all of Chimesjon's stories? Just click here to check him out in our database!