Much going on . . . but I did find a book that restored my faith a bit

Been out of pocket because we took a little voyage on Thursday and returned late on Friday. Man, I guess I am addicted to the ‘net. I kept thinking, “I could be checking e-mail,” and “I should look that up on the ‘net–oh, yeah, they don’t have it here and I didn’t bring any laptop,” and “If only I could be working on something while I’m stuck here.” Anyway . . . more later on that, if I can gather any coherent thoughts.

MEANWHILE, back at the ranch. NaNo. Hmm.

I do wish they’d stop encouraging EVERYONE to write novels, as it makes it utterly impossible for the old-school novelist who can’t do one that’s like all those others that sell. And there are too many novels showing up in the slushpiles. Still, as long as they’re all doing it. . . .

I’m going to play NaNo in November with a YA that’s kind of silly. It’s all this one particular author’s fault that I got all inspired again to do one of my universally-unwanted tomes.

Over the past year or so, I had become a bookstore-reluctant. I hated to even go in, because when I walked around, all I seemed to find were books with clunky prose–today, it is ALL about story, but the stories weren’t reaching ME–or books that just didn’t appeal. Then I ran across an ADORABLE YA that reminded me of Roald Dahl and all the books I used to love. Looks like the sequel will suffer from sequel-itis (preview shows the usual problem with informing new readers all about what happened in the prior book when he SHOULDN’T Do That–I know from experience), but the original book inspired me to write the one I had been thinking about since last NaNo. Waste of time, I know, but I can always post mine as a free download on my website for fans of the other book.

It’s not fanfic that I’m writing, mind . . . I only mean that the book that inspired me is like an old-fashioned BOOK book, with a Dahlesque tone/voice. It made me feel that my story about April and June should be finished after all.

It was WELL WRITTEN. The prose is cadenced and sounds like an old-fashioned children’s book . . . it isn’t all slangy and it isn’t all formal. The author DOES come at us from an omniscient POV–which I almost never see in modern fiction!

The book that did all this firing up is _The Mysterious Benedict Society_, if anyone’s inclined to Google. You’ll enjoy it if you can still put yourself into the mindset of a youngster–and apparently that’s where I still live. I finally did Google the book and others have said it’s Dahlesque. It was a best-seller as a pop fiction selection *and* got literary praise. What else IS there??

So what’s MY book about? It’s more like something else entirely. I think I must’ve mentioned it last year when I sort of did NaNo.

Here’s my NaNo page blurb for my NaNoNaNo-vel.

~APRIL, MAYBE JUNE. YA/paranormal adventure in the vein of all the books I used to love. April and June Bliss (no, REALLY) are sucked into their elder cousin Arlene’s troubles when Arlene is picked up by the police and bailed out by their parents–and before Arlene runs away again to escape being sent to BootCamp (one of those kid reprogramming/torture things), she leaves a journal-style book for April to use to “solve these math equations for me” (April has a Talent there, and these are Advanced Problems indeed, but there’s a hitch, as the journal is a magickal tome) and gives June a spoon ring to wear on her thumb that connects her to the same magickal movement that Arlene is working for. They’re going to try to steal April’s math talent and sell it (they do this) and they’re going to get June as one of their crazy lackeys, unless April can turn the tables on them. This romp takes the girls (14 and 13, as close together as their mama Sheridanne and daddy Lynwood could have them) on an Amtrak train to Chicago and then on a bus to NYC where they find their cousin, but can’t get the effects of the ring off of June (shades of “Help” and Ringo, eh?) and risk April’s mind and her talent when they confront the magickal group. It’s all going to be fun and written in the voice/vein of a modern-day “Harriet the Spy” or whatnot, for somewhat older readers. If you’re TOO old to enjoy it, whatever your chronological age, then I guess you’re limiting yourself (grin).~

If you’re doing NaNo, go “buddy” me. (Make me your buddy, I mean. It’s like friending on LJ. I swear, verbing weirds language.)


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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