I have been writing Glasses and All for quite some time now. It's a story that I'm proud of so I have been taking my time to do it right. In 2013, I heard A Great Big World's song Say Something (the one featuring Christina Aguilera). The second I heard, I thought it was a perfect song for one of the chapters in my book. And from there, a playlist emerged.
Every time I head a song on the radio or on my iPod, I thought "Hmm . . would that work for this chapter?" So one weekend, I decided to create a playlist. I sat at my computer on iTunes, YouTube and the like, finding songs that were perfect for my book. I came up with two songs per chapter that best showcased the emotions and/or plot of that chapter. I was pleased with what I came up with.
The first time I listened to the playlist, I couldn't stop smiling. Each time one of the songs played, I could picture the scene in that chapter clearly in my head, both the good and bad parts of it. The playlist has helped me to stay connected to my book even when I find myself too busy to work on it. When I do work on it, I always have the playlist playing in the background. It guides me through my book and the emotions and plots I want to tell within.
Music has that great ability in portraying emotion that sometimes words alone can't do. By finding songs that connect to my book, I have been able to take it one step further. I listen to the song and pay attention to the way it makes me feel. Then I take those feelings and try my best to incorporate them into the story.
This one experiment has made me want to do it for all my books. I am currently researching my next story and already I have a list of songs that might just work for what I want to say.
Creating a playlist has now become apart of my writing routine and I am glad I added it.
The Looking Glass Wars, written by Frank Beddor, is a retelling of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.
Beddor takes Carroll's classic tale of a young girl who falls into a rabbit hole and completely reinvents it into a world of adventure pinning good vs. evil. The original does the same with Alice vs. the Red Queen. The difference with this book, Alyss is from Wonderland and Red is her aunt.
Princess Alyss is next for the thrown of Wonderland which is currently run by her mother, that is until her Aunt Redd comes into the picture. Furious about being overthrown by her younger sister, Redd gets revenge killing both the Queen and King, leaving Alyss orphaned. Alyss escapes with Hatter to our world. Separated, Hatter feverishly searches for the princess, while Alyss is must conform to the reality of her new life.
One of my favorite parts, she gets adopted by the Liddells and meets Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, the author of the original tale of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll himself. Beddor actually takes real life events and plays them out in his retelling. Just like real life, they go on a boat ride together. The difference, it's Alyss who tells him the tale of Wonderland and he takes her stories to create Alice in Wonderland and it's through this book that gives Hatter the clue he needs in finding the lost princess.
My absolute favorite part of this story is the idea of imagination being a form of magical powers. In Wonderland there are two forms, White Imagination and Black Imagination. No doubt which categories Alyss and Redd fall into. What makes me like it so much is that one of the main themes in Carroll's version was imagination. The fact that imagination can be so powerful it makes a little girl believe she was in fact in a fantasy world where a queen wanted to cut off her head. In Beddor's version, he uses imagination as a form of a weapon, away for Alyss to avenge her parents and get back the crown that belongs her.
Here are some more interesting twists:
And that is juts a taste of the fun retelling this trilogy offers you.
Peter and the Starcatchers, written by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry, is a retelling of the Peter Pan story.
Ever wonder how Peter Pan learned to fly or where Tinkerbell came from? What about Neverland and Captain Hook? Well in this retelling of a classic story, Barry and Ridley explore just that. In this version, Peter is an ordinary orphan boy traveling to a new country with his friends (the "lost boys") on a ship called Neverland. He meets a girl name Molly who introduces him to a world of star power. In this world, how do people fly? Not with fairy dust, but with starstuff, the remains of a shooting star. With this starstuff, people not only fly, but creatures are created, like the loch ness monster.
As Molly explains the battle of the starstuff, two halves: one designed to protect it known as the Starcatchers, the other dying to use it, a pirate called Black Stache (aka Captain Hook before the hook) is after the trunk in which the starstuff is being held, a trunk leaking out this powerful dust. A battle ensues and the group crashes onto a remote island, inhabited by a native tribe called the Mollusks.
So how does this story become the Peter Pan we know. Here's a rundown:
The best part, the story doesn't end there. This is the first in a series involving the boy we know as Peter Pan, an official website you can view and a Broadway play you can see.
Juliet Immortal and Romeo Redeemed, written by Stacy Jay, is a retelling of Shakespeare’s classic love story Romeo and Juliet.
* If you have not read these books and don't want me to spoil anything, please stop reading. As a book lover, I hate to ruin anything for anyone. *
While the plot was a little confusing (alternate universes?), here’s what made this retelling interesting:
1) In order to become an immortal dark Mercenary, Romeo tricked Juliet into killing herself.
2) Juliet became an Ambassador of Light, forever becoming an enemy of Romeo and working to save soulmates from his wrath.
3) To help his cause of breaking up soulmates, Romeo spun the story of his and Juliet’s love for Shakespeare. Thus helping the author to write Romeo and Juliet.
4) The Friar who married Romeo and Juliet was actually a Mercenary himself and Juliet’s Nurse was the Ambassador sent to save the star-crossed lovers. The Friar won that battle.
5) The Friar and the Nurse were soulmates themselves.
6) Ben Luna is also Benvolio who is a second soulmate for Juliet and Ariel Dragland is also Rosaline who is a second soulmate for Romeo.
I think if you can get past some of the supernatural confusion, these stories are quite interesting in how Stacy Jay plays around with the original Shakespeare tale to tries to make it her own.
I know . . . it's been far too long . . . and I've missed you to.
With the expansion of the Children's Corner brand, I decided it was time I came back to this website I so love. It has been tough the last couple of years, so much has changed in my life. I have a new job, my furry friend got sick and I have been knee deep in writing my book.
That's right . . . Glasses and All is just about complete. I finished my last round of revision and I have one more (small) one left to go. I cannot wait til it's done. I am so proud of it.
I am also researching by next book which will be about witches. There is so much to learn. How do I write spells and create potions? What do the colors and moon cycles mean?
So, yeah, my days have been full, but I am here now and I will try my hardest not to disappear again.
Here are a few things I've been thinking about:
What do you think? Is there anything else I can add to the list. I will do my best to get to all of these this year.
I will do my best . . . I promise.
Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining ‘Blog’ is a fool’s errand.