January 4th, 2007

Talk Talk - Colour of Spring

What the Weather?!

It is January 4th and there is not a single speck of snow on the ground. The grass of our front lawn is the color of jade. Across the road, two kids are running around in shirtsleeves, and earlier this week, my oldest son went for a bike ride.

This is the weirdest Canadian winter ever.
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A Pocket Full of Murder

We Interrupt To Bring You This Comic-Strip Rant (plus bonus Writer Angst!)

I've just read today's FBOFW and it made me want to scream. How disgustingly obvious is it that Warren McPlotContrivancePants is going to fly Liz up to Mtigwaki in his helicopter a day early so that she can stumble upon Suds and Chipper in all their faithless glory, and flee tearfully back to southern Ontario to throw herself into Granthony's wimpy arms?


I hope I'm totally wrong about this, but I have very little hope. Curse you, Lynnions!

On a positive note, I have library books. Lois Lowry's Messenger, Wendy Mass's A Mango Shaped Space (thank you for the rec, variella) and Jeffrey Moore's The Memory Artists. The latter two books are about synaesthesia, so I can tear my hair out over things like Wendy's heroine being named Mia and mine being named Thea, and sink into bleak despair at the realization that everything I wanted to say in Touching Indigo has been said before and better by somebody else.

Kind of like I'm currently tearing my hair out over the fact that I cannot write a 250-word hook for Knife that doesn't confuse the heck out of people who haven't read it and give them a totally wrong impression about the story.

I can't not write, but sometimes I think I ought to take up an easier and more soothing occupation, like carving the 23rd Psalm in medieval script onto individual grains of rice.

A Pocket Full of Murder

A Mango Shaped Space, by Wendy Mass


Not unexpectedly since it's about a teenaged girl who discovers she has synaesthesia, there's a little bit of overlap with Touching Indigo in terms of plot and characterization. But I think they're different enough that there might be room for both. Plus, Thea is significantly older than Mia and has a very different family background and dynamics, and things that are major subplots in Indigo are only minor ones in Mango or not really there at all (and vice versa). And, of course, my book has a major SF/Fantasy element whereas Wendy Mass's book doesn't. This is a relief, because I would hate to feel that all my ideas have been taken already, or that nobody would be able to read Indigo without making odious comparisons.

Meanwhile, Day Four has been a complete creative disaster, in spite of the trouble I took to drive the kids out to their grandparents' farm for the day so I could really knuckle down and get some work done. I still haven't decided what to do about my setting, my research list is sketchy at best, and I started my plot summary only to give up when I couldn't even decide on a decent Story Goal (i.e. the main point that all the characterization and action in the book is working towards). I know how Indigo started -- with the question, "What if someone had synaesthesia so intense that it screwed up her life and made everybody around her think she was crazy?" But that still doesn't tell me anything about The Point Of It All.

All I know is that I do not want to write yet another teen novel where a girl is ashamed of being weird and outcast and desperately wants to be ordinary and popular for a change, and tries for a while to pretend she's just like the popular girls at school but it all backfires, and in the end she learns that she is special and finds friends who are just like her and all is sunshine and butterflies. I for one am heartily sick of that particular YA motif.