Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blog Chain

It's blog chain time again! This go around Margie asks:

Pick a book or story and imagine it in a new genre. For example, what would Oliver Twist be like if it was a sci-fi novel. Would Fagin have been a robot? Do you prefer you new creation or the original?

There are so many books that have done an awesome job of this. I love Malinda Lo's version of Cinderella in Ash. I think her version is much more romantic than the original. I also love Marissa Meyer's take on Cinderella in Cinder where of course Cinderella is a cyborg. Jackson Pearce's fairytale retellings are tons of fun. My favorite is Sisters Red.

I've heard people say there's only 12 plots or something and we just retell the same stories over and over again. But I tend to be pretty dense when it comes to picking up on these things. I can get so wrapped up in the current story that if it's well done, I don't compare it to anything else. I read somewhere that The Dark Knight Rises is a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities which totally makes sense now, but I did not pick up on it at the time. Just the other day I was watching The Lion King for the tenth time and it suddenly it occurred to me, hey this is kind of a way happier version of Hamlet.

I don't know, I'd like to see Macbeth in space. The witches could be aliens. But someone else can do the work and write it. :)

What do you think? What are your favorite retellings?

See Michelle's post from yesterday and tomorrow see what Cole thinks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


It's time for the blog chain again! This week we're responding to Lisa's topic:

The balancing act. How do you balance your writing time with everything else in your life--including, kids, job, book promotion

Balance. Hahahahahahaha HA! That's me laughing so hard I'm crying. I think balance is a myth. For years I taught full-time and wrote. I sacrificed housework, socializing, exercise, and sleep to find time to write. I mean I didn't give up all of those things all the time to write, I just made writing a priority. But I couldn't find time to work all day, plan lessons, grade papers, spend time with my husband, write, and do all those other things.

When I quit teaching and worked only 40 hours a week, it got easier. I had time to write every evening and do some of those other grown-up things like dishes and walk the dog. I didn't watch TV. I see all these writers on twitter chatting about their favorite shows and I don't know how they find time to watch them.

When we decided to start a family, I knew there was no way I could work, write, and raise a baby. Amazing people do it, I just couldn't picture myself being one of them. Something had to give. Luckily we could afford for me to stay home with our son (at least I hope we can afford it, I'm afraid to look at our bank statements!). I thought I'd be able to get tons of writing done. Sure I knew the first couple of months would be hard, but I'd figure out a schedule and be a super-productive work-at-home mom. I mean I've met tons of women at conferences who find time to write with small kids. A friend even coined the term nap-time-writer. Yup, I was going to be a nap-time-writer.

Except my perfect little baby doesn't nap. Sure, he'll nod off for 10-20 minutes here and there, but that's usually just enough time to feed myself and change the laundry. Oh and that neglected housework is a much higher priority now that I'm home all the time. So I squeeze in writing time when I can.

This morning I woke up at 5:30 and wrote until my little boy woke up at 7. If I don't get too tired, I might make that my new routine. I'm writing this post with one hand while nursing my little one. Sorry, TMI?

So, balance? Balance is what my laptop does at the edge of my knee while I'm holding my baby.

Any tips for a new work-at-home mom? Has anyone out there achieved this mythical balance?  Haha, reading the other blog chain entries, it looks like we all struggle with this. Is finding balance a unique problem to writers? Or as humans, do none of us have enough time for everything? I'm tempted to say if anyone feels their life is perfectly balanced, maybe they're not trying hard enough. 

Check out Michelle's post here and tomorrow you can read Cole's take.