Thursday, October 23, 2008

Earth shattering decisions

Daily Stats:
Words: gobs and gobs
Caffeine: morning cup, midmorning cappuccino and late afternoon cup of coffee
Evil Calories: had lunch at a Coney please...
Reality TV: Tim Gunn's Guide to Style

Up until yesterday, I had my feeble little mind made up about my piece for NaNoWriMo this year. However, it dawned on me this morning that the back story of said piece is very loosely based on actual events involving my dad. And, as fate would have it, my parental units will be invading camp Alden come the second week of November. Now I'm a little concerned that my dad sitting three feet from me in my living room may monkey with my creative mojo.

Now, I should clarify that this back story involving my dad isn't really that scandalous of a morsel. In a nutshell, my dad was engaged to another girl when he met my mom. He was attending engineering school in Minnesota, and he ended up marrying my mom without even letting this poor girl know that he'd met someone else. And the weirdest thing is that, in one of our family photo albums, there's a picture of my dad and this girl, from prom or homecoming or something. When my sister and I would ask about it, we'd always get this light and airy response, like "oh, hahaha, that's you're dad's old fiance. Goofy, ain't it?" It wasn't until earlier this year that I really began to think about it. This poor girl's fiance goes off to engineering school and marries someone else. In fact, I think that my grandmother had to actually tell her that he'd married someone else. Nothin' but love for you dad, were kind of an ass.

Anyway, from this little crumb of an incident spewed forth a loaf of a story, about a girl, a strange box of letters, a woman named Pepper Ann and a quirky little town in Washington State. Aside from the back story, there are vague elements in my book that echo my own issues with my dad, and I'm a little worried I might drum up some repressed feelings while he's here. What if, right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, I spring up, throw the green bean casserole at him and scream, "WHY DID YOU LAUGH AT ME WHEN I SAID I WANTED TO GROW UP TO BE PRINCESS LEIA????" (, that would be a good story...girl confronts parents at family gathering about dismissing her hopes of being a super hero when she was young. They laugh at her again and call her silly. She wakes up next morning, sews stylish suit out of super-hero themed halloween costumes and becomes vigilante...saves Han Solo-ish guy from evil gangsters...joins secret society of super hero wanna-be vigilantes...)


My point (I have one, I swear) is that I'm now thinking I should do something else for NaNo. Perhaps jump to my back burner idea, The Grim Life of Kat Clark, a little light-hearted tale about a girl with a shitty (I mean really shitty) job
(and you always assumed the grim reaper was a creepy dude in a cloak wielding a scythe. Ha!)

So, that's what I'm thinking.

I'm also thinking about having waffles for dinner.

(my intellect is dizzying, no?)

(ps...i still want to be princess Leia when I grow up)


DebraLSchubert said...

Vivi, Don't put so much thought into what you're going to write about, just write! I'm thinking I might continue on with my second unpublished book. I'm about 13,000 words into it right now. I know I should probably start from scratch, but I think the point is to simply write (and write, and write!). Whatever you decide to write about, I'm sure it will be great and you will enjoy the process. Best of luck! Debbie

Big Plain V said...

I like your backburner idea.

So don't get offended, but Princess Leia looks like she has waffles on her ears.

Carrie Harris said...

Who DOESN'T want to be Leia when they grow up? Although I want to be the Ewok village Leia so I don't have to wear the cinnamon roll hairstyle.

Hope you find a NaNo book that will work with your ambient mojo. Wow that sounds weird.

Elizabeth said...

Wow. I have learned SO much about you from this one little post of you. I think you should go forward with your piece about your Dad. Who knows, maybe he will spew a few jems your way that will make your story just sparkle while he's visiting.
I wanted to be Wonder Woman. But Princess Leia was very cool too.
And now that we are in a safe venting circle here sharing our deep feelings.
My Dad told me I was too BIG to follow through with my dream to be a gymnast.
I'm still paying for therapy sessions over it.

Vivi Alden said...

Deb - you're so right, I shouldn't over-think things. I'm just going to go with my gut. And I share your approach to NaNo...the whole point is to write!!!

BPV - waffles....(okay, actually that kinda makes me want to hurl)

Carrie - Ah, yes, the Ewok Village Leia would be my second choice...though I feel she desperately needed some layers or a sweepy bang or something.

E-beth - Too big? Ugh, that makes me want to curl into a ball! Terrible! Well, when my dad is here he will surely say something that will make me want to a)cry/scream/throw things and b)rebel, dye my hair black and start listening heavily to The Cure again.

Amy Ellis said...

What, you mean I'm NOT Princess Leia?

Actually, I think you can write this because you got the story slightly off. :) Dad actually flew back home to tell his fiance that he met someone else, but he never told grandma, and grandma always had lunch with this girl once a week who she thought would be her daughter-in-law. And the girl didn't tell grandma either but actually kept having lunch with her. So grandma knew nothing until Dad called and said "I'm getting married to a girl you've never met."

Okay, so it's still not the greatest situation! But now you know that your backstory is even more removed from reality.

Even though I'm well aware that having them in your house may well stir up all sorts of things!

Elizabeth's comment just reminded me how Dad used to tease me about being too overweight when I was a teenager! Ack!

Vivi Alden said...

Okay, I'd really like a flow chart to keep all of the family drama straight (and this is just dad's side...let's not get ourselves started on mom's side.)

Tracey said...

Too weird ... as I am typing this the theme to Star Wars is playing in the background - seriously (my DH & oldest daughter were just watching it).

If you want to talk family drama try one grandmother, seven kids and at least five different fathers!

I like your dad story. It really sucks for the girl, but it's interesting (I like your version better than the reality version - more tragic).

C.R. Evers said...

Waffles for dinner sounds good. You really are a planner aren't you? ;0)

Either project sounds great!

Good luck w/ your nano!

I'm doing it too. Look me up if you want. my user name is christye. It's not creative, I know. I'm saving the witt for the story. ;0P