Friday, November 23, 2012

The Butterfly or The Moth?

I will start this blog post with the most epic lines EVER. Ahem.

Best LOST Metaphor Ever
John Locke [gently]: "Come here. I'm gonna show you something."

[John leads Charlie over to a small tree with a cocoon attached to it. He points at it with his knife and asks...]

John Locke: "What do you suppose is in that cocoon, Charlie?"

[frustrated at being force-fed a metaphorical lesson that he doesn't know where it will go or how long it will take because he just wants John to give him his stash back, he answers choppily...]
Charlie: "I don't know... a butterfly, I guess--"

John Locke: "No. It's much more beautiful than that. That's a moth cocoon. It's ironic - butterflies get all the attention, but moths, they spin silk. They're stronger. They're faster--"

Charlie: "That's wonderful, but..."

[interrupting, and pointing with his knife...]
John Locke: "You see this little hole? This moth's just about to emerge. It's in there right now, struggling. It's digging it's way through the thick hide of the cocoon.

NOW, I could help it - take my knife, gently widen the opening, and the moth would be free. But it would be too weak to survive.

Struggle is nature's way of strengthening it. 

End scene.

Why start with this epic scene of LOST? Why the hell not?
Okay. I have a better reason.

Because in the past few months of my life, I have slowly begun my own metamorphosis in many ways. Some of these will remain cloaked in mystery to most of you. Sorry. But the one I know all writers can connect with is writing. So…even though the following is really happening in ALL aspects of my life, one  change is my writing.

I have gone from someone who teaches writing, to someone who writes. I have gone from someone who would never think of not teaching to someone who would love nothing but to stay at home and write for a living.

And there are more life changes forthcoming. Some I know about. Some remain to be seen.

And they are all scary as hell. Why? Because I can't tell yet if I am a moth or a butterfly.

The Beautiful Butterfly
I want to be a butterfly. I want the glory. To be appreciated and loved. Everyone loves a butterfly. They are symbolic of beauty and grace. They float lightly in the air, touching the wind with their wings and flitting about on the breeze. Anyone who sees one, stops for just a moment, to reflect on the beauty of nature and the wonder of it all. Butterflies represent possibility, hope, and new beginnings.

They are insects of the day. Sunshine and spring flowers come to mind. They are coveted. Beautifully perfect in every way.

I want to be a butterfly.

But I'm sitting here, all encased in the thick cocoon around me. And I am struggling. Against myself. Against the life I'm living. Against expectations. Against time.

And I don't know if I am coming out a butterfly.
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The Moth

Moths are creatures of the dark. They are underappreciated. But they are also annoying to most people. They are the underdogs. They search for light because I think somehow, they desperately want to be touched by the sun. They want to be coveted. They long to be beautiful. They want to be THE choice, not the afterthought.

Sure they are strong. Sure they spin silk. They are useful. But ask most people if they had to choose, would they be a butterfly or moth, my guess…is they'd be a butterfly.

Moths are forever in the butterfly's shadow.

And all this brings me back to LOST.

As Locke said to Charlie:
Struggle is nature's way of strengthening it. Me. I have to believe whether I come out of this cocoon a butterfly or a moth, I will be stronger for my struggle. Stronger for having had to change.

I could ask for it to be easy. I could ask for a lifeline. A metaphorical cut in my cocoon with a knife. But easy isn't always better. It's just not. It's only…easier.

So, I wait.

To become…whatever I am destined to be.

Because it really isn’t up to me. Is it?

So, if you could choose…would you be a butterfly or a moth?

Tagged! I was tagged by Miss Brandi Lynch. Tagged to write about what you ask? My current WIP of course. So here is is...

What is the working title of your book?


Oddly enough, the title was the FIRST thing I came up with. I was thinking of things I could write and the titles that could go with...and this one just jumped out at me. I thought...hey, cool title. So, I began to work it out in my head what it would be about. 

Where did the idea come from for your book?

Well, I knew I wanted to do a fairy tale retell in a contemporary setting. I thought about all the possibilities from the obscure to the predictable. Cinderella has been done and done. Same with Snow White. My favorite fairy tale story is The Little Mermaid. But that one really had it's challenges since ummm...the MAIN CHARACTER CAN'T TALK. How the hell do you write a book when your MC has no voice? Inner dialogue can be too much. But then I thought...what an exciting challenge? Challenge accepted. 

The other thing I wanted to be mindful of was the fact that I wanted to stay true to both versions...the Disney version as well as the original Hans Christian Anderson version, which is much more tragic. I really liked the haunting story Anderson told and how it involved complete sacrifice for the one you love. Sometimes, when you really love someone, you simply have to let them go. It's only fair. You want them to be happy, even if it means without you. It's the ultimate pain. But also the ultimate love. This is what I explore in SPEECHLESS. 

What genre does your book fall under?

Well, of course since she is seventeen years old, this will be a YA Contemporary. 

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Oy.This is my first don't judge me.

When a horrific accident robs seventeen year-old Lorelei Bell of the thing that defines her most--her voice--she must fight against her own inner demons, a frenemy who has it out for her, and the death of her old identity to find her new voice...and a chance at the love of her life.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Hoping to get an agent with the book I am querying at present who also reps YA. If not, I will query this one for sure.

How long did it take for you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Still writing. It is 2/3 done. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Any of the current contemporary retells. 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I have no idea. The characters are so beautiful in my head, it would be hard to match them to a real person. The closest actor to play Lorelei in my mind would be Debra Ann Woll.
Debra Ann Woll of True Blood
 She pretty much embodies the feisty personality and the girlish charm of Lorelei. Plus...she is gorgeous. 

As far as as Erckan, Lorelei's love interest..I have yet to find a guy who can match the gorgeous that is in my head. Perhaps Zac Efron is the closest. Because...LOOK AT 
Ummm...yeah. Perfection. Erckan indeed.

Britt as Blaire

Of course, the nemesis and frenemy would be Blaire, played by Britt Robertson.  That would be all I could figure out now. :)

Okay. I'd watch this movie! :)

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As I said, I wanted to explore the idea of a timeless love in which sacrifice and loss was involved. I love how the original Anderson's end is tragic, but beautiful. I also wanted to write a novel that the kids I teach could read. :) That...would be awesome. 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The romance of course. And the buried past between Lorelei and Blaire. And as always, I love to play with the preconceptions people have about an antagonist. Blaire is not over the top bad...only to Lorelei. I think that makes the best antagonist. The one who is nice to everyone else, but has it out for one person. And Blaire's reason is really understandable, which makes it hard to hate her. But isn't that real life? One person's enemy is someone else's best friend. 

So, now I have to tag:

Erica Chapman

Jodie Andrefski

Megan Paasch

Andee Hannah

Angie Black

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nano Nano

 Welcome one and all to the greatness and fabulosity that is NaNoWriMo. What is this weird acronym, you may ask? Well, of course it stands for National Novel Writing Month. This is a month long time of craziness where writers all across the globe commit to writing 50 k words in one month. That's absurd, some may cry. Yes, I'll concur. It's freaking battier than Adam West in a pair of pewter tights with  a mankini. See more about it here: NaNoWriMo
Is that Janet Reid?

Here's the idea though. It takes just 1600-ish words per day to hit the 50k mark. That could, depending on your typing capabilities, range anywhere from 1-2 hours per day. Okay, that's do-able. Here's the other thing. You are supposed to NOT EDIT or REVISE during the writing. Whahaha???

That, my dears, will be the hard part. Why? I'm a perfectionist; I will not want to close down my computer to anything less than perfect. Or at least, semi perfect where if I sent it to my CP, Jodie, she wouldn’t consider me an epic failure. So, I'm not sure if I can commit to "no going back". But we'll see. 

So, my WIP (another acronym? Seriously, I thought the teaching world had too many of them…I was proven WRONG) a.k.a. work in progress which is currently at 31k will be the lucky recipient of my constant attentions. My current novel, a YA fairy tale retell is one that I am in absolute love with and I am excited to finish it, go back in to revise, spiffy her up, and make her look like a superstar. 

And to be clear, I am kinda in love with my MC's love interest. I know it's wrong to be in love with a seventeen year old, but seriously, he is freaking amazing! If I could find a picture of what he looks like in my mind, and I could stop drooling, I'd post it here. As it is…this is the closest I could find. 
See? Pretty gorgeous, no?

The thought that I will be DONE with my first draft on my second novel is pretty damn exciting. And if when I finish it at the end of November, it will mean from start to finish it will have taken me 3 months to write. Which is impressive seeing as The Princess Paradox took a whopping 3 years. I had some writing blocks during that time. Epic ones. They were sucktastic.

When I finish my WIP, I already have ideas for a new women's fiction manuscript. Actually 2 ideas. No. Make that 3. Crap. I think I will be doing this writing gig for a while. As long as I have stories to tell I guess. 

I will try to regularly update this blog with how I'm doing. 

For those on twitter, follow the hashtag #NaNoWriMo to get updates on fellow nano-ers. Also, the AMAZING Megan Whitmer hosts #writeclub on Friday nights. It's basically 30 minute sprints of writing, where writers all over can check in, get props, pats on the back, and kicks in the ass when writing. It has helped me become accountable for my writing. I look forward to it every week and my Friday nights simply aren't the same. Fewer hangovers. Less money spent. Fewer sleezy bars. MORE KISSING SCENES! (Totally an upside) Thanks Megan. You rock the writing world HARD.

So…who else is in on Nano? What are your goals? Post 'em here!