I was born in a small historical city called Lexington almost nineteen years ago but have lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia for the past thirteen years. As my mother is from Pakistan, I also enjoy knowledge of a different kind of motherland.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
I love small-town charm and old-world rust. Living where I do, I am able to experience both, the cozy mystery stories of a small city as well as the old pioneering and settler stories of the mountain people whose families have lived here for generations.
What turns you on creatively?
Among the many little things that turn on the words in me, people-watching inspires me. Walking the street I notice the oddly colored scarf, the sad grey eyes of the woman waiting at the crosswalk, and the happily joined hands of a father and his young son. These observations find a place to shine in my writing.
Untold stories also inspire me. The stories in the tumble-down houses quietly dying in the mountains or old soda bottles and quaint vintage jewelry become tales I must tell.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
As with my favorite color and favorite season, my favorite word also undergoes a constant cycle of change. Currently, I enjoy the lyrical sound and open invitation of intriguing.
You say you know your heart, my love, You say it is a white peony flower Intriguing.
What is your pet peeve?
I cannot stand hypocrites or people who blindly follow in the footsteps of faith or practice, but I try to keep as open a mind as possible when it comes to my friendships. I recognize the diversity and celebrate the individuality of the world, but nothing aggravates me more than people who are practicing something simply because it is the way their family or community has always done something. I enjoy and respect mindfulness and consciousness and am also often irritated by people who present a face that is undermined by unconscious hypocritical action.
What defines Jaya Avendel?
I am constantly inspired to explore the facets of humanity through ink. I feel that, as a writer, I am able to live beyond one life by experiencing not only the stories I tell but also all the hidden stories that creep unnoticed into books. I am defined by curiosity, uniqueness, determination, patience, and my willingness to go beyond the ordinary, step past the expected, and explore the nightmares as well as the dreams. In writing, I have discovered I enjoy the pin prick of truth. Sometimes it takes on a bloody or sorrowful edge but even depression becomes a mesmerizing thing, if presented with creative expression that binds the story together into something beyond despair.
I am Jaya Avendel, word witch, and I am defined by every word that brings out my corners and buffs my edges.
Jaya Avendel is a writer living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she dips her pen into the inkwell of fantasy and prose, dabbling with the stories in the forest around her. She writes at Nin Chronicles.