NTMI: Good evening everyone! I'm here this evening with Gryphonsong, whose pets have led her into some well-documented adventures for anyone reading the Neopian Times. Welcome Gryphonsong!
Gryphonsong: Hello. ^.^
NTMI: Our first question this evening is how did you find Neopets?
Gryphonsong: I was working on a website about a year ago and was looking for graphics for fantasy creatures (unicorns, gryphons, dragons, etc.) and found a site on unicorns and wolves. In the wolves section, the girl had a picture of a blue Lupe (which was the first pet I really liked) and since it was linked, I created an account at Neopets. That account was frozen later because I ended up creating too many accounts (which also explains the extra words in my pets' names). But I like this account a lot better because my pets have more personality.
NTMI: So how did "gryphonsong" come into being?
Gryphonsong: My bird had died about a week prior to when I was frozen so I had birds on my mind. I didn't want something so similar that it would make me sad thinking about my bird, so I eventually thought of gryphons. The 'song' came because my birds had been singing downstairs and all my birds sang the same. I figured if regular birds can sing, gryphons can too, so I smushed the words together.
NTMI: Interesting! So now that you're on Neopets, what do you like best about it?
Gryphonsong: I used to like simply exploring around, but now it's more of I'm just staying on because I love to write about my pets and draw them (which, no matter how much I pester the Neopets Team - it worked with Josh Filan, after all - I can't annoy them enough to get my pictures into the art gallery).
NTMI: Different folks, different strokes, I guess. So what's an average day in Neopia like for you?
Gryphonsong: I go to all the freebies and the hourly things, feed my pets (basic things like that). Think about some of the odd things that happened if something pops into my head, I sketch it or jot it down. At least once in my day I get bowled over by an Anubis, which isn't quite so normal. -__-'
NTMI: Hmm... on Neopets, I dunno, you never can be sure!
NTMI: But anyway, on to the next topic. How did you find the Neopian Times, and what got you started contributing?
Gryphonsong: I was pretty bored (which is often) so I took a look at the news and found the link. I started by just looking at the comics (mostly the Moo Strip and L*U*P*E* Blue, which are still my favorites) and then I started reading a lot of the other stories and articles. Then I decided to write my own, simply to get a trophy (as I am the Trophy-Crazy Gryphon, one of my personalities) and I got hooked.
NTMI: Now that you're hooked, what's your favorite things to write for the Times?
Gryphonsong: I guess it depends on what's going on. For example; that whole baby pets craze when they first came out (articles) and then now that I've signed up to another virtual pets site it seems like my pets might get into a rivalry (short stories).
NTMI: So your favorite thing to write is whatever you can think up next?
Gryphonsong: Pretty much.
NTMI: Besides the news, what other sources of inspiration do you have?
Gryphonsong: Probably things people say, what I've said and things that my real pets do. Sometimes I get ideas from other articles and things like that, or some other sites I've seen.
NTMI: Is there any certain time of the day, week, or month that seems particularly productive for you?
Gryphonsong: Usually at night. I always get ideas at night with art and writing and I always draw, sculpt (heh... clay Neopets! Who would've thought? ) and write better at night.
NTMI: Hey it's been done, lol.... I wonder if gryphons are nocturnal?
Gryphonsong: Either that or I'm the only one.
NTMI: We'll probably never know... ok, so you're up late, you get this brilliant idea, now... how long does it take to get it all written out and submitted?
Gryphonsong: If it's an article or a short story, about an hour or two. If it's a series ( NeoRenegades is proof) it usually takes all night and the next. I edit them that night or in the morning and spell-check and send it in in the morning.
NTMI: And after it comes out in the Times, what sort of feedback do you get?
Gryphonsong: Generally good. But I've found that my Lupe gets more mail than I do. And as I've gotten more published I get more mail and I've had to turn off neofriend and battledome requests. Although, I have had more than a few insults... And then the 'will your pet be my mate?' requests have driven me insane.
NTMI: I usually laugh at those.... although having two of mine mated to EACH OTHER might have helped some, who knows... but anyway! What is the most important piece of advice you could give to someone trying to get into the Neopian Times?
Gryphonsong: To check your work as many times as you can before ending up in a padded room.
NTMI: LOL, I usually check, recheck, then let it sit before coming back- you can squeeze in more checks before your eyes glaze over that way!
NTMI: But enough said about THAT...what fault, or faults, do you notice most often in stories that are in the Times?
Gryphonsong: Too much chatspeak and things like 'was I'. I've seen stories that use 'OMG' in the place of 'ohmigod' that makes me sick to the stomach. I think I have officially become my literature teacher. o.o
NTMI: Well I guess your literature teacher had to retire sometime! But overall, what do you like best about being published in the Times?
Gryphonsong: Probably just getting it published. No matter how many times I enter other things on Neopets, the Neopian Times is the only thing that I actually "win."
NTMI: And the worst thing?
Gryphonsong: Getting hate mail. I think that pretty much says everything.
NTMI: Yep! So let's skip that one and go back to the Times. If you could change one thing about how it is organized, what would it be?
Gryphonsong: I would have series featured on the front page along with the articles and short stories because normally the series take a lot longer to write and never get as much mail so it feels like nobody's read what you took so long to write. Unless of course it's about 30 parts long and you just get sick of seeing the image and read it, which not a lot of people have the patience to do.
NTMI: Interesting point! Ok, so is there anything else of yours on the Neopets site that we need to know about?
Gryphonsong: BOBALOOOO!!!! Erm... That would be BowserBo, my Uni on another account named after my summer horse, who must be mentioned at least once in every conversation I am a part of. Other than that, absolutely nothing.
NTMI: What about off neopets but still on the web?
Gryphonsong: My (currently down) website, Crescent Moon and my growing obsession with Power Pets (I'm Wings!) which is a site like Neopets which interests me just as much. There's not much there, it's slow, bug infested, but the adorable pets, cheap items and long restocks keep me there. I suppose it's like Neopets once was. There's just no people as pets.
NTMI: No people as pets?
Gryphonsong: Sadly, no. Only dogs and pigs.
NTMI: Heh, yeah, but even Neopets got rid of the "people" type pets after a while.... ah well! So where do you see your writing leading you in the future?
Gryphonsong: In real life I've already been published in a USA national poetry book (my one claim to fame) and I hope to one day get the *real* Renegades published. On Neopets, I just want my Lupe War series to get published and my virtual pets rivalry. Maybe even a poem... But that's unlikely.
NTMI: Well we can always hope! Anyhow, that's all the questions I had. Was there anything else you wanted to tell us?
Gryphonsong: Nothing that won't kill me... I hope...
NTMI: LOL, well thank you for your time this evening, and best of luck in your future endeavors!
Gryphonsong: Adios, good night and thanks. ^.^
Would you like to read all of Gryphonsong's stories? Just click here to check her out in our database!