November 7, 2011

Monday Mumblings

...because “Musings” sounds too intelligent for what I’m doing.

¬  VERSUS  ®

First off, I should mention that I’m writing this post because I’m procrastinating. I signed up for NaNoWriMo, but am sort of doing it unofficially. Quite frankly, I have no idea how it actually works but I'm signed up regardless. It’s still nice to set a goal like that for myself. I should be working on my story instead of blogging but whatever. I like to give my husband something to read while he’s several hours away at work (Hi, Todd!) so that's partly why I'm blogging today. So here’s what’s bouncing around in my head like a game of Pong:

1.  WIPs, NaNoWriMo, and Shiny New-ish Ideas
Several months ago I had this wonderful idea to write a modern spin on a classic novel. I made notes, plans, and just became altogether giddy about the idea. I set it aside for some time because I wanted to start working on a science fiction story with dystopian elements (I was on a major Divergent, Matched, and Across the Universe buzz at the time—still am, but my interests have diversified a little). Now that I’m nearing the end of my first draft on the sci fi WIP I feel like I need to let it breathe a little (AKA: I’m stumped and need to walk away temporarily). NaNo seemed like the perfect opportunity to pull out the fun, girly, makes-me-smile other idea. So I did. I made more plans and in the meantime read both Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door in two days (I should have dragged it out and savored the moment longer. I’m all kinds of dumb). I have to say, I haven’t read all that many contemporary YA books, and now I know what I’m missing and I want more. You hear that? I want more, I tell you!

Moving on…

I was (still am) really excited about this idea and then I noticed that someone else is also doing a modern-day version of this story. Gah! Needless to say, it was a little deflating. Turns out this other story is for the adult market (phewf!) and mine would be YA, so that’s comforting. Also, since it’s a modern retelling of a classic it’s not like this is something new. It’s been done before and it will probably definitely be done again. The trick is putting your own unique twist on the story and making it something that people would actually love to read. Otherwise, why bother because why wouldn’t they just go and read the original. Duh? (P. S. I really hope they do read the original because it’s a fantastic story) The reason I love this idea so much is that this particular story translates so well to a modern audience and especially to a YA audience. I know sometimes the modern retellings of classics can feel really ‘already been done’ (not including the original, of course) or like some crappy bastardization that borders on embarrassing but I have read some really good ones and would personally love to read more. All of this to say, I am really enjoying writing this story and think (hope) it could be really good.

2. It's beginning to look/feel/smell a lot like Christmas...
We got snowed on the other day (though nowhere near as bad as some people in the Eastern US, I hear) and it’s been cold enough out that the snow has lingered. Honest to goodness, it’s like someone flipped a switch and I’m suddenly in the mood for Christmas. Right now. Everything at the moment is triggering this “Ooo, Christmas…” kind of feeling. We have a husband-imposed 'rule' in our house: I am not allowed to put up the tree until December 1st. Every year I follow the rule, so November’s going to feel really long. There is, however, no rule against Christmas music, movies, or mugs, or Christmasy drinks in those mugs so those are busting out pretty soon. I figure I’ll wait until American Thanksgiving has come and gone because that feels like the generally accepted time to start being publicly festive. Need to look up when that is so I can mark it on my calendar. In Canada, Halloween is the last holiday before Christmas (not including Remembrance Day which isn't so much celebrated as observed), so all the festivities kind of start ridiculously early. And now for the smell part of the title: I've been burning a 'Fresh Balsam' candle from Bath & Body Works and it smells so much like awesome Christmas tree (unlike our phony baloney Christmas tree that lives in a box for many months of the year).

3. Just weird (like Twilight Zone weird, to me)
Just something totally weird (or at least I think it is): I was leaving a comment on somebody’s blog this morning and was about to type in the CAPTCHA word (the security word) and realized that it was my protag’s name in my sci fi WIP. What the?! Normally, the words look like they were plucked from the Jabberwocky but this time it was ‘carina’, which is my MC's first name (*cue Twilight Zone music*). That’s just all kinds of weird to me. It’s like the universe is trying to tell me that I’m being unfaithful to my first WIP or something. To which I say: “Leave me alone, Universe. I’m in love with my new story right now.”

And now that I’ve dumped my verbal diarrhea here I can actually get to work on story-that-I’m-currently-in-♥love♥-with. So Happy Monday everyone. Happy working/writing/reading/whatever you’re doing!

* 4. Dispelling some myths: Contrary to popular belief, a good chunk of Canada is not a polar ice cap. The bulk of Canada's population lives within 100 miles of the U. S. border, so our weather is not all that different than theirs. We are not covered in mountains of snow for several months out of the year. In fact, during the summer we often have several days that surpass the 30C (80-90F) mark. Oh, and while we're on the subject, I've never in my life said "oot and aboot". Ever. What a lot of people think of as a 'Canadian accent' is closer to what we here in the 'Great White North' (*snort*) refer to as a 'Newfoundland accent'. Big difference.


  1. Just for the record - I LOVE your mumblings (which I really think are musings because I'm inspired to write now). And the MUPPETS!!!! Love. I'm so excited for that movie.

    As for your shiny new ms retelling of classic tale - EVERYONE writes the same stories these days - the trick is finding that twist or "thing" that makes yours different. And not that you've alluded to it, I'm SO intrigued!

    And that Twilight Zone moment - eerie.

    Have a fab Monday!

  2. Thanks, Alison:) Once the new WIP is further along I'll be braver and let everyone know what it is :)

  3. I am having a very hard time not breaking out my "fir" candle. (I think it's from Pacifica? Can't remember.) It felt like Christmas to me during the October Snowmageddon, and now I can't wait to be "publicly festive," as you put it. :)

  4. Rebecca: Do it! Do it! I guess you guys still have all that pumpkin pie and turkey festivity to look forward to before busting out the Christmas stuff, though.

  5. I'm so impressed with your NaNoing... I'm too wimpy to attempt this year!

    I bought tons of Christmas-y red/white/green candy to send to my husband today. I can't believe it's ALREADY available in stores, but for my own selfish reasons, I'm glad it is!

  6. How very intriguing your WIP sounds... I've been turning over the works of Jane Austen in my mind, wondering which one you have chosen. And even though I'm not entirely sure which one - though I have an idea - it sounds very exciting. I adore modern retellings of classic novels. And welcome to NaNoWriMo!

    Also, Christmas - is it really nearly here already? Where has the year gone? I'm not complaining though, Christmas is my favourite time of the year. Bring on the decorating, festivity, and the ability to watch Christmas movies as often as one would like, I say.

  7. Katy: My NaNoing hasn't been going so well, but I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.

    Kayla: I'm a total Christmas-aholic too :) I'll divulge which Austen novel my story is based on soon (when I'm brave enough).

  8. We don't have snow here but I love Christmas time. I don't know why but I just love the cold and the dark. I get to sit in bed with my laptop, a cup of tea and lots of blankets!

    Forecasters keep warning us about the potential of another freeze this winter though :/

    I'm glad NaNo is going great for you!


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