Interview: Noxaura Cille

Today we’re joined by Noxaura Cille. Noxaura is an incredibly young ace who has an enthusiasm for writing. Xhe writes both stories and songs and also sings a bit. Though xhe is young, Noxaura is serious about art. Xhe submitted a story to a competition in xhyr state, where xhe wound up winning second place. My thanks to xhyr for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Well, alright. I’m a writer/authoress and singer/semi-songwriter (I use authoress because I prefer to deviate from the norms and it sounds more sophisticated, don’t you think?). I write stories, usually what I call/consider “Tragic/Dark Sci-fi”, though I am also working on a satirical story. Tragic Sci-fi is sci-fi, but it messes with the feels so badly that it can’t even be considered normal sci-fi any longer. I am proud to bear the title of the only Tragic Sci-fi writer, as I am the one who made the term up. I prefer to write alone, though I will sometimes ask for the opinion of a family member or classmate. I am my own editor as of this point in time (OCD helps with that), though I suppose I will have to have a professional edit my work once it is completed. Oh, that’s another thing about me: I only have fanfiction and unfinished works as my claim to the title. I get bored easily (I happen to have ADD), so almost as soon as I start a project, I get another idea and move on to another, leaving a trail of unfinished/unpublished works that I worked hard on.

If someone could give me a prompt I could have a pretty decent story written in a few minutes if anybody is interested? I am willing to look through comments/responses to find any.

Anyway, because of this, I am currently unpublished, but that doesn’t make me any less of a writer/author.

On to my second field: singer!

I have been singing since I was three and could form the sounds properly. Fun fact: up until I was nine years old, I literally listened to nothing but country music. When I was nine, I was on Charter On Demand and looking through the music, and I have a strong memory of Beyoncé. That’s right. Beyoncé.

My parents were shocked and exasperated. It is an odd sight to behold, the mix of exasperation and shock.

I sing in a high soprano (I prefer a neutral tone. You’ll know what I mean if you ever hear me), though I can always go higher, to the pitch of a tenor. My mom tells me my voice has a “tinkling/bell-like quality”. I sometimes have trouble finding the correct octave for a song, especially country songs, because my brain says “GO LOWER” while my voice says “DUDE I CAN’T DO THAT LOW! THE LOWEST I CAN GO IS, LIKE, G-FLAT/F-SHARP!” (Fun, fun fact: my vocal cords are 2 ⅓ inches tall/long) and the argument ends up kind of in-between, where I go from, like, G-flat to E-sharp, and it sounds funky because I keep switching. Sometimes I have to completely drop out because the singer goes below C4 and I can only go up to A5 because I’m a soprano. Duh.)

Oh, I just remembered something. When I was around six, my cousin (she was around 5 at the time) said she had a passion for singing. I told her that, no, she can’t have a passion for singing because that’s my passion and she wasn’t gonna steal it.

Ah, six-year-old me was still a little chienne.

I have been writing songs since I was about nine. Now, I’ve always dreamt of writing my own songs and playing guitar and being a famous singer. Well, I can’t play guitar, but I’m alright at piano.

Back to the topic at hand.

I used to think that I couldn’t write songs, simply because every attempt came out unorganized and unending.

At one point, I gave up completely.

And then my grammy told me that I could actually do it.

So I tried again… and failed.

However, I started asking myself what I was doing wrong. I began looking at song structure, and soon, I could write a song that seemed decent to me.

But my mom told me it sounded like I was going to commit suicide.

And I, being me, took that personally.

And began working and working.

And now, I can write songs with semi-ease and they make sense. I’m proud that I’m closer to my dream…

Maybe. But America is full of dreamers.

(A little-known fact about me is that I am great at memorizing songs. All it takes is hearing it once or twice and it is forever engrained. I also do this in my sleep. I am not joking.

I remember hearing a song on the radio that I thought I’d never heard before, and then proceeding to sing along, word for word.

It can get pretty freaky sometimes)

What inspires you?

The only answer is anything and everything has the ability. I can, however, assure you that the result of my inspiration will be dark. Sorry that I’m not sorry.

Oh wait.

No I’m not.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

As a child, my parents would read me stories, as some parents do.

However, even at age three, I had a decent grasp on the English language.

Sometimes, I would take the book from my parent and read the book.

As for singing, well…

I was a troubling child. I didn’t eat anything but oatmeal, I was severely malnourished… (my birth parents’ work. My grandparents raised me and are, essentially, my parents. Oh, and they adopted me around two years ago. So…)

So I would have a radio playing country music (the only music my then 40-something year-old parents liked) every night.

Now, I don’t sleep well without it. Or some other form of music.

And, actually, the first thing I wanted to be was a paleontologist. Three-year-old me could pronounce that, too. She—my agender identity is a very new and fresh thing. Younger me identified as she, so she was she—could also read books with words like dinosaur and she could count all the way to one hundred, just like a big girl! Aren’t you proud, person I’ve never met before?

I stopped wanting that when I turned around seven and realized I would have to go outside and work with bugs (I have entomophobia. It’s actually pretty bad).

But I have always loved to sing, and my imagination is still so wild. It helps me write, but doesn’t help me sleep, if you catch my drift.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Besides my sign-off? Um… Let me see…

I already mentioned how it is tragic, yes? Well, another key point in my work is that I am both a poet and a narrator.

I use metaphors a lot. And I mean, a lot. Most are very, very extensive and last a long time.

Oh, and character names are usually something unusual and unique for the first name, followed by something completely normal for a surname, but sometimes with an odd spelling.

I like using animals, and nature.

I just really like these things.

Oh, and femininity is a prevalent factor. Despite my agender identity. I also enjoy writing about children. Small, small children…

And storms. And snow. I LOVE writing about snow. You don’t want to know what I can do with the simplest prompt of “snow” or even “rain”. *evil laughter*

I’m tempted, so tempted to show you…

It’s on Wattpad, if you care enough. *sticks tongue out*

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

You can do it.

Probably.

I’m not gonna lie; you will have to actually get off your cul and do stuff. Maybe learn a new language or two.

Expand your grammar a bit. This works in both writing and songwriting, which is a subcategory of writing, in my opinion.

Oh, and don’t plagiarize. That isn’t cool and nobody likes it.

Be original or you can just give up now.

And it’s probably gonna take a while for anything to happen.

But quitters don’t make it in this field. You have to have the drive to create and then you have to have the guts to act on that drive.

And always keep trying.

If at first you don’t succeed… by God, you keep at it until success hunts you down and hands you a pure diamond plaque that doesn’t have sparkles, but shines in the right lighting.

(Yes, I did pull that quote right out of my brain. Thanks for noticing)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I currently identify as an agender female aromantic-biromantic sex-averse asexual with an apathromantic mindset.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Weeellllll… no, not really. And there is a simple reason for that: my fields are very specific but also very inclusive at the same time.

Acenegatives hardly ever find me because… I’m a writer, a singer and songwriter that goes (mostly) unnoticed, and an unpublished authoress. I don’t broadcast my asexuality to the world (in my field). Heck, I barely go into the world. I can do my job right here from my bedroom.

Well, at least I didn’t broadcast it until I started writing my latest (and only) satirical nonfiction book. *wink*

However, I have a feeling that the backlash will be large (or at least significant).

Now, recently, I posted a rant to my Tumblr about the ace discourse and my writing style just so happened to leak through… And I dealt with the acenegativity the way I deal with all people that get on my nerves.

I blocked the acenegative.

I also replied, saying that they were a perfect example of what I was talking about.

(The post, their reblog, and my reply to the reblog, are on my Tumblr [noxauracille]. Finding it may take a bit of scrolling, but you should find it within about five minutes, probably less)

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

This is kinda difficult…

“It’s a phase”, “are you sure it isn’t a phase?”, “[you’ll]* grow out of it”, “how do you know you don’t like it?”

The second to last was said by someone I considered an acquaintance, as we sometimes talk about school and other stuff while our parents work.

But she said that with such certainty…

My main problem is that this ties in with “you’re too young to know” and “how can you know it if you haven’t tried it?”, which can also lead to things like corrective behaviors (because I am positive rape is not the only “corrective” tactic) and generally a lot of confusion and hurt.

*Her original words were “she’ll grow out of it”, as she was talking to my mom.

She couldn’t even say it to my face.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

This is going to sound really cheesy, but…

You are not broken, and you are not alone. Just be yourself and don’t listen to what everyone else tells you about you. In the words of Rihanna and T. I., live your life.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

Once again, I’m unpublished and therefore I don’t have a lot of places for this. However, I am NoxauraRiddle13 on archiveofourown, NoxauraCille on FanFiction.net, and Noxaura_Cille on Wattpad.

Wattpad is where I post songs I write (most of the time), and my non-fanfiction (and some fanfiction that I can get by with) stories. If you want my “serious” projects, go there. Hopefully, in the future, I can get even more organized, finish my novel, and then I can get my website fixed up.

Man, that sounds so awesome…

Maybe I can even do the coding myself! (Anybody got any pictures they will let me use for it? Heh, I’m kidding. Creative Commons should work… Though it would be really helpful of anybody has a picture of a night sky, preferably with some stars, maybe some moonlight… Perhaps the moon itself, solitary and alone? Just some ideas for what I’m looking for…)

…sorry for the little ramble on coding a website and pictures…

I just love the sound of keys. I love it so much that my Kindle notification is a person typing on a computer.

I’ll wrap this up now. Bye!

~Nox

(I’m also bipolar)

Thank you, Noxaura, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Lynn

Today we’re joined by Lynn. Lynn is a young artist who is just starting out, but displays an incredible versatility. She dabbles in a bit of everything and shows an incredible enthusiasm for her art. The world could always use more of that and I have a feeling Lynn is an artist with a very bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

R7

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m very much an amateur in all forms of my art. I’m a singer, I’m learning how to play the drums and piano, I’m a traditional and sometimes digital artist, I love to cook and am taking a culinary class, as well as an animation class and theatre class. I love to perform and present my work. It gives me something to talk about, a way to interact with people, especially since I’m kinda shy and awkward when I don’t have a set topic. I’m young, only 16, and haven’t been doing these things for very long, so I’m nowhere near professional level in any of these categories, but I absolutely love doing these things. Being an artist is absolutely my passion, and I even plan on learning video game design in the future.

What inspires you?

It depends on which medium you’re referring to. When it comes to acting, my friends who build me up and I courage me are my inspiration, when it comes to singing, it’s the songs I love that drive me, traditional and digital art comes from seeing other people’s works, talking to my friends about shows and movies we enjoy that give me a picture in my head that I want to draw.

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What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

My dad is a musician; a professional pianist. He mostly used to play at churches and do arrangements of songs for church bands and big companies, but since he was fired from Christ Fellowship in Florida after nine years of working there, things got a bit shaky and he was less constant with it. He still plays at churches sometimes and arranges music, but now he’s mostly doing gigs with a band called Southern Sky. My dad (and my mom who is a beautiful singer) got me into music and I love it.

I’ve always been drawing as far as I know, but it wasn’t until around 9th grade that I started actually getting good at it. I was mostly mimicking anime styles, though, but it wasn’t until around mid 9th grade to 10th grade (I’m an 11th grader now) that I started developing my own styles and started getting into more western cartoonish styles. Animated shows and movies are definitely my biggest inspiration for traditional and digital art, and the reason why I aspire to be an animator.

And as ashamed as I am to say it, anime dubs are the reason I wanted to get into acting in the first place. At least as far as I can remember. I wanted to be a dub actress for a while, so I took a theatre class my freshman year and actually performed Fiddler on the Roof that same year. (I was Tzeitel.) Do I still want to be a dub actress? Not so much now. I love theatre, I love performing in front of people, I love expressing and projecting – something you can’t really do in voice over works. They’re very different mediums.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?

I do not unfortunately, unless you count the style in which I draw as a feature.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never stop. Whatever it is you’re passionate about, even if you’re horrible at it, you just keep practicing. Talk to people who are better than you, get advice and feedback from peers, and if you get insults, you take them and you make your work better. In my experience, even though being told “That’s fantastic!” or “You were great!” feels really good, being told “You need to improve x y and z” is more beneficial and helps you grow more as an artist. I’ll tell you the truth, I’d rather be praised than criticized, but the more you’re criticized now, the more you’ll grow, the more praise you’ll get in the future.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

100% asexual, and I’m also aromantic.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

No, not really. I’m not really out though, and no one really talks about asexuality so I just kinda let it be.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

I’ve never been through this personally, but I imagine the most common misconception is that asexuals are lonely, asexuals are bitter, asexuals just need to get laid, that crap. And I’m sure there are plenty of asexuals that are bitter and lonely, but that’s not because they’re asexual.

2015-11-28 16.04.10

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Being acespec can be hard. You’re dealing with questioning yourself, wondering if there’s something wrong, asking why you’re not getting what sexual attraction feels like or why everyone’s so hypersexualized and why everyone’s sexualizing themselves and that’s okay. Being any sexual orientation other than straight is really hard, and there are people out there who seek out ways to put you down, but as long as you keep faith in yourself and trust that other acespecs have your back, it makes feeling the way you do a lot easier and I’m here for you.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I tend to post most of my stuff on my blog, papyrus-throw-me-a-bone.tumblr.com, but not all that often. Sometimes I spam people with drawings though and ask for drawing suggestions, but it’s mostly memes and social justice….

2015-11-18 20.33.46

Thank you, Lynn, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.