Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I love old stories told from new perspectives (and really, aren’t they all?) My first favorite, The Mists of Avalon, retold the King Arthur legend from a female perspective, in Ahab’s Wife Sena Naslund wrote brilliantly about life during the 19th century using Moby Dick as a foundation, and O Brother Where Art Thou turned Homer’s Odyssey completely on its head. Recently in young adult literature I particularly liked Elizabeth Bunce’s retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fable in A Curse as Dark as Gold.
Even high concepts from The Twilight Zone can have new life, so to speak. One of my favorite TZ episodes from 1969, Nothing in the Dark, stars a very young and handsome Robert Redford as Death, and it was reincarnated in 1998 as Meet Joe Black and starred a not-quite-as-young-but-just-as-handsome Brad Pitt as the grim reaper. (I've posted Nothing in the Dark below for those of you too young to remember.)
So that got me thinking. There are other stories or concepts would I like to read or re-write as young adult novels. Here are a few that came to mind. Feel free to add your own.
- The Great Gatsby as a modern coming of age story, featuring Jane Gatsby.
- James and the Giant Peach—How did James spend his teen years, after his adventures in the peach? (Alternatively, I'd like to know what Charlie Bucket was like as a teenager).
- A fantasy version of Little House on the Prairie.
- I'd love to do something with bad old feline, The Cat in the Hat. (But then again, he is himself a re-creation of the trickster god archetype).
Friday, October 8, 2010
This was a lot of fun. Lots of people, books and some great YA authors. I stood in a gaggle of teen-aged girls (feeling extremely out of place) and listened to a debate:
Team Zombie: Justine Larbalestier, Scott Westerfeld and Carrie Ryan vs Team Unicorn: Holly Black, Kathleen Duey, Diana Peterfreund.
It was, um, interesting. All of the authors had some funny things to say. I don't really know who won the debate. I got tired.
MT Anderson was very cool and funny. I wish there had been more people there to hear him speak. Then again, it wasn't an SCBWI conference, so most of the people were just book lovers and locals wandering around. I wanted to go grab people and shake them. "Don't you know one of the most talented writers on earth is right over there!?"
(A not very good pic of MT Anderson)
He has a middle-grade book based in Delaware and as he signed my copy of Octavian Nothing, I told him I was from there and we had a laugh.
All in all, a fun event.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Hear what Laurie Halse Anderson wrote in response to Speak being challenged and banned. Her poem speaks for itself. Thanks to Stephanie Perkins who posted this today.
Monday, August 23, 2010
I'll support my local indy kid's bookstore and pick it up tomorrow. So who's looking forward to this release?
Monday, August 9, 2010
"When you've flown as far as you can, you're halfway there."*
I am dead smack in the middle of my WIP--the halfway point. I love my story, and my characters. But being in the middle is simply awful. It's scary. It's like weaving a huge tapestry and realizing that some of the hundreds of threads I'm sliding through my fingers are the wrong color, or in the wrong place. It's that point in the story where I just have to forge ahead and overlook the flaws in the pattern, get to the end, and then go back and, with heartless precision, snip those threads that don't fit in.
But what if I pull out that glittery gold thread right over there (the one I took such pleasure in weaving) and the whole thing unravels and ends up in a tangled, senseless pile at my feet? Worse, what if I don't pull it out? It could be a blot on the landscape I've woven, an ugly scar that every eye will fixate upon, detracting from anything else I've managed to depict.
In the end, I'll rely upon the golden rule of both needlework and writing--be ruthless. I've stitched many things, including a wall-sized rug, and have had to tear out thousands of stitches in the process--so many that I could make a bed quilt out of them big enough to suffocate beneath. That's just how it goes when you do needlework.
Cutting those threads is not the hardest part for me. It's making it to the end. To do that, I need to keep flying and not look back. I can't think about how far I've come and how far I have left to go. But I often feel as if I've flown as far as I can, which is why I need my critique group--they keep me going, assure me that my goal isn't as far off as it seems, cheer me on and bolster me. No, I won't say they are the wind beneath my wings, although it's SO tempting. Oh, I just said it. Sorry. But it's true.
Quote and photo are from Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole, which I can't wait to see. The photo is simply blatant cuteness and has nothing whatever to do with this post.