Good lord, what day of the year is it already? o___O;;; Thanksgiving went by in a blur, even if it was a nice, quiet lunch with my mommy-in-law, with only three of us there, eating, talking, laughing, and watching Willy Wonka (the original movie). Now, of course, we’ve inherited pretty much all of the leftovers since Mom can’t finish them. At least I won’t have to cook for a day or two. XD
Incidentally, those Safeway Thanksgiving dinner things? Not bad at all.
As I slowly, methodically, grimly, and determinedly chip away at my revisions of Gold in the Clouds, I’ve already set my sights on my next fairy tale retelling, which is more like a classic German Romantic treatise on the power of imagination and the crippling effects of a rigidly regulated life. Considering Hoffmann’s social circle, the story was more about the bourgeoisie, but that can easily be extended to the more generalized stunting of one’s imagination in the course of maturation into adulthood in the modern age.
That’s always been my interpretation of Hoffmann’s works, anyway, and I highly, highly recommend reading The Golden Pot and Other Stories if you’re in the mood for a collection of amazing short stories of early 19th century magic realism.
If you’re familiar with E.T.A. Hoffmann, you pretty much have a good idea what story I’m referring to.
I’m a fan of the ballet, which was based on Alexandre Dumas’s retelling of Hoffmann’s fairy tale, and I’ve yet to read it. If the ballet is faithful to the Dumas’s retelling then I can say that it’s a watered-down / Disneyfied version of the original, which is fairly dark (you can’t expect anything else from Hoffmann, really), with poor Marie being either terrorized or scolded left and right till the child’s practically an emotional wreck. Hoffmann’s story’s more complex and even downright convoluted in a crazy good way if you have the patience to sit through those scenes.
See? Very purdy.* I highly doubt if Hoffmann would take kindly to it, though.
I’m not interested in turning Marie into a gay boy, by the way. As with Rose and Spindle and Gold in the Clouds, the point of view will be from side characters, which I’ll be discussing at length down the line. As I’m not a romance writer – when I write romance, it’s incredibly mild (Rose and Spindle) or a satirical jab at romance tropes (Desmond and Garrick) – what I’ve discovered in the course of writing Gold in the Clouds (and Masks) is the fact that I really enjoy writing adventure stories or wild scenes involving fights or whatnot, so long as those are instrumental in the main character’s development.
I’d like to do that for the “Nutcracker and Mouse King” retelling, so the focus will be on what goes on outside Marie Stahlbaum’s reality-based world.
So that’s a super early buzz on what I plan to do next, and with the holidays here, I’m setting my Kindle aside and re-reading Hoffmann’s novella. If things go according to plan, I’ll be writing the new story alongside Helleville, whose first draft I’m hoping to finish by the end of the year.
* The San Francisco Ballet has a really stunning production of The Nutcracker. The “Waltz of the Flowers” is, I think, better than the Mariinsky’s interpretation because the dancers actually mimic flowers blooming. It’s a sight to behold, watching them from the balcony.