A writer who loves fantasy, avoids reality, and who knows the value of hanging a death skull outside my door to ward off uninvited visitors.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Can Breathe Again...thank you Zoey

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I'm working on a new project. When I first came to terms with the idea of shelving David Thorne for now, I was a bit iffy about it; after all the time, blood, sweat and tears that went into putting together this book, I felt like I was turning my back on myself, and it hurt.

But, as I've always said, for me writing is like breathing. I have to do it, and in trying to get DT out there through the ever-fun-and always-eventful process of querying, I've lost my way and forgot to breathe.

Well, recently, I've been hard at work on this new project, a YA paranormal series, and for the first time since I finished writing DT, the wheels of my imagination are once again on the move, and it feels fantastic! I'd forgotten how good this feels. I'd forgotten how amazing it is to be driving somewhere, or lingering in a hot shower as new and exciting ideas ran through my mind. I'd forgotten what it's like to be anxious to get back to the keyboard and start pounding out the stories of characters that existed only in my head.

I'm sure every writer goes through this--whether once or every time they finish a book--and they spend more time trying to get it out there than they do working on a new book. Though you hear all the time that a write should always be writing, I think it's more of a personal decision how a writer goes about bringing their ideas to life. But in the end, regardless what others say writers should do, or how they should do it, it's a lesson I think every writer should ultimately learn on their own.

As for this new book, it's so funny because ever since I finished DT, I've had so many ideas, but for some reason none have stuck, and I couldn't understand why; they were--and are--all so great, as far as ideas are concerned. But none were leaving me in a state of perpetual thought and obsession, which is what I felt during the writing and creating of DT (and the entire series that followed it). But now, I'm here again, feeling my mind wandering to this new book, getting distracted, forgetting to do things, all because this is the story I've been waiting for ever since DT was first completed. And it feels incredible.

So to all writers out there who, at some point, find themselves stuck, or to those who find they've lost their way and have paid more time trying to get their work out there than they have actually writing, I say, just stop for a moment and breathe. If it's truly in your blood, you'll find yourself again, and when you do, you'll remember what it's like to be alive.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Censoring the voice of Mark Twain

I just read an article over at Publisher's Weekly, and it turned my stomach.

Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Called a masterpiece by T.S. Eliot, and pronounced by Ernest Hemingway, the source of "all modern American literature."

Yet, for decades, it's been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, or flat-out banned, appearing again and again on lists of the nation's most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word. The "n" word.

Get this! Apparently, one Mr. Alan Gribben, and NewSouth Books are going to release a version of the book with "slave" in place of the "n-word". You know, might I point out, that fickle little b***H called irony. Our choices here are what? Allow these books to be banned? Or outright replace "slave" so as not to offend people, all just to appease these groups of ignorant zealots, when either act makes those who don't stand against it the very thing, the very word, said groups have deemed censor-worthy: Slaves. Slaves to their beliefs.

Now, I understand they want to prevent the conservative pratts from banning these books from schools; I get that, I really do, so truly, their intentions are good. But, that said, the fact is, no one, and I mean, no one--and yes, I'm talking to the nosey-bodies who want to control our lives--has the right to tell us what we can and can not see, hear, read, do or think! Last time I checked we were individuals. It should be up to parents to decide what their kids should be able to read, and frankly, only someone from the cess pool of zealots would stand in favor of these ignorant censor-bullies denying people their freedom for the beliefs of others.

You can read the article HERE

Why is it so many people feel they have the right to decide what we should and shouldn't be reading. Yes, the "n" word is offensive, absolutely! But, the fact is, it was a reflection and commentary on the times, and changing it is nothing more than a blatant slap in the face of Mark Twain's point.

The cold hard truth is that when the floodgates of censorship are allowed to break thru, there's no stopping it. Somewhere along the line, we've become a society of kids playing in the sandbox, crying about the people who've "hurt our feelings", at which time someone stands up, slaps the offender on the hand and scolds them with a resounding "you can't do/say that!"

Check out the article for yourself.

Note, even the amazing R. L. Stine commented on the controversy, writing, "How idiotic to change a classic of American literature for a word usage that can be explained to young readers. Simply moronic. I find it deeply offensive."

I couldn't agree more.