Monday, January 12, 2009

Sweet 16 and Gothics

I spent last week planning my daughter's Sweet Sixteen party while also trying to immerse myself in Gothic horror for the novel I am currently writing. Thinking purple, lace, and roses on the one hand and dark, gloom, and mystery on the other seemed at first to contradict each other. As the week wore on, however, I found that the Gothic novel and the sixteen year old girl are actually very similar.

In the classic Gothic horror book you have the young heroine who after somehow being orphaned goes off to some old, Victorian style manor where she has either been employed at or has been offered residence at by some unknown benefactor. When she arrives, she is usually courted by the nice, clean-cut guy, while being tormented and seemingly stalked by the dark, mysterious stranger. Often, paranormal, frightening things take place while she is alone in the dark, scary manor, and while Mr. Clean Cut seems like the best bet for safety, she cannot help but be intrigued by Mr. Dark and Stormy.

The sixteen year old girl, while not orphaned, would sometimes like to think she is, especially when her family is not as exciting as, say, the Cullen family. She would gladly leave her safe, boring home to hang with Jacob on the reservation or flirt with Edward behind Bella's back. She would trade in her leggings and Converse tennies for a Victorian gown and heels if it meant sitting at a long table with Gargoyles overhead sharing a meal with a brooding, mysterious stranger.

When I came to this conclusion, I realized that giving her that Gothic experience may be my answer to the perfect Sweet Sixteen party- one that would be memorable, yet not cost $100,000 and a Ferrari. I decided to give her a little mystery and intrigue by throwing a Mystery Dinner party for her and her friends.

I found a company called My Mystery Party that sells mysteries for the party attendees to act out and solve as the night wears on. While I won't be making her an orphan or holding the party in a haunted manor, and Edward won't be coming to dinner (although he is more than welcome if Bella can spare him), my daughter will get to dress up in a semi-Victorian gown and pretend for the evening that she and her friends are stuck in the middle of a dark and gloomy mystery they must solve.

I'll let you know how it goes, but it should be fun. Now if I could just find some Gargoyles . . .

Monday, January 5, 2009

The New Year

I opened this blog space in August of 2008 after attending the SCBWI conference in LA. Everyone was talking about their blogs and Facebook pages, and I thought, "I could do that!" But here it is January 5, 2009 and I haven't once posted a blog!


Well, there was my novel - after three year's of it being in various stages of undress, I cracked the whip and worked on it, day in and day out, until I finished it. I submitted it to an agent on December 12th. Anytime I sat down at the computer and did something other than work on that novel, I felt like I was cheating on it. It had to get finished, and now that it has . . . well, I'm starting a blog aren't I?

Of course, I have also begun my next novel, and while I am in the beginning musings of this novel, I have the time to sit and play. But once I am off and running, that may not always be the case! For now, though, I will attempt to blog something, sometime.

I may not be the regular blogger like my fellow critique group members Jacqui Robbins and Diane Telgen, but I will try!

Another reason for not starting a blog was that I really wasn't sure what to blog about - I mean who wants to hear about how in love I am with my new Dyson DC117 vacuum cleaner? It is seriously awesome, but not something anyone necessarily wants to read about.

Or how I spent my Christmas break playing 39 Clues on the computer with my son and daughter? We didn't win any money - that would have been something to blog about for sure! But we had fun solving all the puzzles! (I cannot shoot ducks or fly a plane through loops by the way, my son had to get me through those levels.)

I guess most people come up with a theme to blog about . . .I'll try that in the future.

My resolution in the New Year (besides trying to write the best novel ever) : to blog about something, sometime in 2009!