Here's 2009!

Hey all! We'd like apologize for disappearing again, but you know how the holidays get. In any case, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We're resolving to be better bloggers in 2009. :)


Fairy Tales

I absolutely adore fairy tales like how I absolutely adore classical mythology. I know this isn't one of my best openings, but I've been procrastinating on this post and I figured I should just out with it. It's a new thing I'm trying: thwarting my self-thwarting.

Back on topic though, fairy tales hold a special place in my heart. They were probably my first introduction to fantasy and magic both in picture book form and in movie form (thank you Disney). RANDOM ASIDE: Not going to lie, I'm something of a Disney junkie. If you're ever visiting Disneyland, drop me a line. I will get you your one-day pass' worth of Disneyland fun. Also, one-day does mean FULL day. You can't do a Disneyland run properly in half a day, and considering ticket prices, it wouldn't be worth it. Yes, I know where practically everything is. Yes, that's without a map. And yes, that's how many times I've been there. They were, shall we say, the earliest seeds placed in my undeveloped imagination, and as such heavily influence what I like to write and what I like to read.

This pertains to me particularly so at this moment because my NaNo novel was a reboot of something I only vaguely started in the last year or two, and it is based on a fairy tale. I also put myself through the torture of writing my own fairy tale for the novel, which meant I went and read/researched a bunch of fairy tales to get the cadence and style down. (Again, Surlalune for fairy tales plug. Why didn't I find this site sooner?!) Even so, my novel-verse fairy tale still doesn't sit well with me and I'll probably have to revise at least the second half of it. Mostly, what I want is for the entire novel to have a sort of fairy tale tonality to it. I want magic to be embedded into the story, but I want it to feel precariously paradoxical. I want the presence of magic in the world to feel eerie. That's not really happening at the moment, but it's nice to have goals, right?

While the collaborative work that Alz and I really should work on again (now that NaNo is over) is not of the fairy tale ilk, it does in turn draw from various mythologies and legends.

As for my reading tastes, I think the specific appeal of fairy tales for me lies in its ability to walk the line between charming and eerie, and they bring magic into otherwise seemingly ordinary worlds: children run errands for their parents, but then they meet a talking animal or a witch in the woods; peasant girls marry into better lives, but find their husbands ask them to fulfill extraordinary and impossible tasks; shoemakers try to make ends meet, and while they sleep, helpful elves come to answer their prayers. The settings and situations are often mundane enough, but magic is an acceptable intrusion. The world of fairy tales is liminal - real and imagined, enchanting and frightening, sweet and also grotesque, bittersweet.

They represent a type of story and reading experience that I particularly enjoy. I love The Last Unicorn so much because it's told with that sort of "fairy tale" voice, though dressed up to be more lyrical. Also, I just finished reading Susanna Clarke's The Ladies of Grace Adieu and other stories, which is a collection of, well, fairy tales - some retold and others newly wrought. (Haven't read her novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell yet, but I have it.) The lovely part about the stories is that magical occurrences aren't always spelled out for you (very classic fairy tale-like); you're given just enough to draw conclusions but are left with a sense of wonder. It's that eeriness again, the sort of haunting quality the stranger fairy tales have. I suppose it's that feeling that magic could be "just around the corner."


A bunch of little updates (I have nothing witty to say here.)

Yes, I'm back for yet another update. This one actually pertains to the right month, I promise. I go through these spurts of renewed interest in this blog/blogging in general. I'm trying this new thing called "consistency," something I've learned from NaNo, but now I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, some New Things to note!

1) You may have noticed by now that the blog looks different! Alz and I both thought that for the upcoming New Year, we should fix up A Nudge a little. I want to add right now, I absolutely adore this layout (it's so cute!), but it is no small secret that I have a weakness for birds. Credits for this loveliness can be found at the bottom of the page and right here because I'm plugging Better in Pink for some really cute freebies. Ours is "Birds on a Wire," converted for Blogger Beta by Randomness. Again, credits at the bottom.

2) The side bar has also changed, other than being on the left. There are a few new links under Curiosities to check out. One of them I will be mentioning later in the post, so I will just point out Bookshelf Muse, which has the very helpful "Emotion Thesaurus", and Cut Out + Keep is a rather delightful DIY website that I was made aware of through Twitter. Speaking of Twitter, another addition to the side bar is "Deck of Cards," otherwise known as "Followers," which is much like a Twitter concept that Blogger has incorporated to make keeping up with blogs easier. So please Follow us if you are so inclined. We'd be very appreciative.

3) The new link that I saved for this paragraph is Surlalune, a wonderful resource for fairy tale related info. Why did I save it for now? Well, I'm planning to make a post about fairy tales, in which case, I will most likely be plugging this website again. And that is the other update: the return of actual posts!

Other than a post on fairy tales, I'm thinking about doing a NaNo-reflection sort of post, inspired by this post at learntowritefiction.com. My often-intimidating, but ultimately great 9th grade Honors English teacher taught me to appreciate the art of reflection, and one of the random things I've learned from my pursuit of my undergrad degree in Psychology is that writing is cathartic and thus has some therapeutic benefits.

4) I'm also considering for the side bar some sort of slideshow of random things that amuse us or stuff that is related to our writing. This is a MAYBE though.

So in short (tl;dr): new layout, updated sidebar, new posts.

Look forward to it.

P.S. Writing about writing is pretty hard!

This, then, must be a true December Update

It is as the Krispy says--'twas the pure, unadulterated insanity of National Novel Writing Month that ate up the whole of November for Krispy and me. As Krispy insists that I show off my winner badge, I shall place it here:

It took 50,000 words.

I suppose that's coffee in that golden cup, symbolizing the endless nights of furious writing powered solely by caffeine and the mad, mad desire to reach that word count. (My final November word count, incidentally, was 86,322. I'm still going though because this freaking story refuses to end. Every year I do better and better and go longer and longer, so I guess I am learning some discipline from Nanowrimo after all.)

But now that that particular craze is over and done with, I expect that Krispy and I shall get back on track with regards to our baby!co-novel. Having spent some time away from our baby surely makes us neglectful parents has given us some fresh perspective and we shall be better able to craft unique characters inside a worthy narrative.

Also, Krispy changed our blog's layout and template all by herself. It's so snazzy. And a nice nudge to get us working on our story again.


November Update (even though it's December)

I realize we have not updated for almost 2 months. We really have to remedy this situation, but in our defense, Alz is earning herself a higher degree in writing of the creative sort and I am trying to figure out my RL. Both are rather stressful and time-consuming endeavors.

But that does not mean we have neglected our baby because of something as trifling as Real Life. No, we neglected this blog and our collaborative project for the insanity that is National Novel Writing Month.

by angelicshadow (at livejournal)

Now, Alz has done this like 4 years in a row and because she is a Wort Ungeheuer, she chips away at 50,000 words with the ferocity of a woodchuck at wood if a woodchuck could chuck wood. I'm sure she has a spiffy "Nano Winner!" badge somewhere and I'll have her post it up some time because what's the point of a spiffy badge if you can't show it off somewhere?

I came in somewhere in the 23,000s, which considering that this was not for a grade and I am a procrastinator until the end (and also I have no idea what is going on in my novel now), I'm pretty impressed with myself. We'll see if I can get to 50,000 by the end of 2008, but seriously, I need to go back to spending more time on resolving my existential crisis. Yay goals though!

So that's the November update. We were writing, voting, and stuffing our faces in thanks for this awesome month.