THE TIME HAS COME, my little friends, TO TALK OF OTHER THINGS (if you read that like the walrus from Alice in Wonderland, I officially love you and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, I apologize for your sad, sheltered childhood). It’s almost the end of 2012, but unlike the rest of the blogging world, I am not going to do a summary of all of the books I’ve read this year, nor will I talk about how awesome I am for writing way more than you did this year ha-ha (actually false I know you wrote more than me I KNOW YOU DID STOP LYING TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER SLFKJALSK *cries*). Instead I’m going to talk about my crazy, wonderful, Chinese grandmother.
I went to her house in Santa Rosa for Christmas. Also, I overate like a hero, but that was only after I checked the dates on basically everything in her cupboards and refrigerator. She has a tendency to feed people expired food. The rules for eating at her place are these:
- If it smells bad, it is bad. Except in the case of some unidentifiable Asian foods that smell mysterious but taste miraculous.
- If at any point you hear, “Oh, I forgot I bought that,” “that” is probably older than you.
- Those little black dots floating in your cereal bowl? Yeah, that’s not cereal.
- Don’t drink anything given to you unless you’ve seen the bottle/jug/carton being opened for the first time.
- Accept the decade-old candy. Throw it away later.
But seriously, my grandma is the best. She’s an adorable, generous soul, and I love her to pieces even though she’s unknowingly tried to poison us all a hundred times over.
Also, on the eight-hour drive up to her house, I started working on a new story. I had thought that my next project was going to be a historical fiction novel involving a boy in Hitler Youth and two Roma girls, but this new thing I started writing a week ago is taking over my thoughts in a way I hadn’t expected.
I wrote 8000 words over the course of the weekend. Definitely didn’t mean for that to happen. Must have been something I ate.
So this new story… this summer, around the time of the Tony Awards, I suddenly fell completely in love with all things Peter Pan, thanks to the award-winning genius of Christian Borle in Peter and the Starcatcher. I jokingly told my roommate at the beginning of the semester that once I finished Privateer, my next novel was going to be a PP retelling because I was literally just that hung up on it. But you know how it goes—you go crazy for something for a little while, and then Nazism catches your eye and you forget about the first thing until later when you realize that it might be permanently lodged in your subconscious until you write it out.
I started writing it out. And now I can’t stop.
So far, I know that this project involves certain characters, and that’s about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got pages and pages of notes on the story (yeah, it’s that bad), but when I flip through them, I see an anthology of short stories, not a novel. Maybe that’s because it’s going to be told from the point of view of multiple characters from multiple different time periods—you know, because Peter Pan’s basically immortal? I was sitting there in the car thinking about how weird it was that nobody ever questions the magic that made/helped Peter Pan stop aging…
…and the next thing I knew, I was writing this odd little fantasy story that reminded me of the stuff I used to write in junior high. It’s actually coming out like a mashup of Doctor Who, Robin Hood, and J.M. Barrie’s The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up—which leaves me with what? I have no idea.
I think that it seems like a combination of many different genres right now because of the many different voices that are competing for my attention, and I probably won’t know what I have on my hands until I finish it. If I finish it. All I can say for sure right now is that I won’t be working on that freakin’ Hitler Youth story any time in the near future.
If I start feeling brave, I might post this new project on Figment to see what people think, but probably not yet. I’m trying to just enjoy writing a crappy first draft… I don’t do that nearly enough, and that’s absolutely the best part because I can throw in whatever the heck I want, without wondering what people are going to think if I do it.
In the meantime, I really need to come up with a name for this project. It’s driving me berserk. I don’t even have a working title because even my best ideas are terrible. It refuses to be named. Figures… maybe I’ll use some Scottish Gaelic word, in honor of Mr. Barrie (LOL oh my gosh, no, that is a terrible idea. I should stop brainstorming on the Internet. It’s embarrassing).
Oh well. I’ll have plenty of time to think about it, I suppose. When I fly to London on Wednesday.