Reblog: 12 contemporary YA novels that retell Shakespeare — Shakespeare & Beyond

Our weekly dose of inspiration comes directly from one of my favorite blogs today…

Shakespeare & Beyond is the Folger Library’s blog, and they’ve always got amazing posts, so I’d check them out if I was you. They also have a fantastic podcast. Worth spending some time with.

Anyway, this particular post happens to be a list of YA novels based on Shakespeare. I mean, come on. How wonderful. I’ve only read one of them, To Be or Not To Be by Ryan North, which is a “choose your own adventure” version of Hamlet that had me quite literally laughing out loud, which doesn’t happen very often. If the other books on this list are as good as that one, it’s a good list.

Are you a fan of YA novels? Young adult literature is booming right now, from contemporary sob-fests like The Fault in Our Stars to action adventure series like The Maze Runner. And with Shakespeare a staple of the high school classroom, it makes sense authors would want to tackle Shakespeare retellings for their teen audience. Here are a…

via 12 contemporary YA novels that retell Shakespeare — Shakespeare & Beyond

A Very Happy NaNoWinner!


Aw yeah, I am a winner! Fifty thousand right on the nose.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Even if you’re one of my lovely globals. It’s just another reason to celebrate, right?

I am so tired, you guys. I’ve been writing 3,000 words per day for the last week to get here. Now I don’t even know what to do with myself. There’s a whole world of forgotten leisure activities out there waiting for me.

At present, I’m celebrating with a nimble galliard.


Get Out of Your House.


In this crazy month of messed up sleep patterns and gosh-awful writing that values quantity over quality against all the rules of art, it can sometimes be tempting to bury your laptop, notebook, fountain pen, clay tablet, cave wall, or whatever your preferred writing tools happen to be in a deep hole and simply dive headfirst into bed, with no intentions of emerging until December 1st.

Goodness golly gosh, Hemingway would be so proud of that sentence.

Anyway, you can all relate to this temptation, right? Or even the much simpler and more responsible temptation of diving into a book, or even into neglected housework, if the opportunity presents itself. And let’s face it, in our own homes, those temptations rear their attractive heads on a daily basis.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your writing is to get out of your house. Get away from all the things you’d rather do than string words together. Get away from all the chores that are clamoring to be done.

For some lucky people who live in places blessed with beautiful weather, this might be easy. They can just get out into nature and be alone with their pen. This, of course, doesn’t work if you live in a rain puddle like I do.

For other focused souls, this might mean going down to the local coffee shop with a big pair of headphones and clacking away at their keyboard until they get somewhere. Unfortunately, I’m a people watcher, so I get easily distracted when I try to write in public spaces.

But here’s where I get lucky: I’m known in my little community as the girl who works from home, and is therefore usually available for house/pet sitting at a moment’s notice. It’s been pretty handy at a couple of points, especially for a person like me who doesn’t feel naturally comfortable with using other people’s stuff.

During NaNoWriMo, I’ve been called upon to go and spend the day at a good friend’s house several times so their young dog doesn’t have to stay in her kennel for an extended period of time while the owners are gone. This has worked out great, because not only do I get to hang out with this cutie,


but I also know that, once I convince her that my pen is not for eating, I can get a lot of words written, simply due to the fact that I bring nothing with me except my writing tools, and I have no other potential responsibilities other than tossing a tennis ball occasionally.

It’s a method that works for me, anyway.

So if you’re finding yourself easily distracted, or tempted to do anything, even cleaning toilets, rather than be forced to dredge words out of your own mind, find yourself an accommodating puppy to chill with.

Or just go out somewhere, whatever works for you.

How (Not) To Impress A Girl.

Here’s some inspiration for you… this was going on in my back yard about fifteen minutes ago:

Just out of the frame, in the direction these two dudes are both looking at the end, is a pretty young doe, who is paying absolutely no attention to their bro-ish antics.

This is not how it’s done, fellas. So sorry.


Isn’t it amazing how often animals mirror human behavior? How often have we all seen young men buffeting each other around and flexing their biceps, sneaking little glances at the girls to see how they’re taking it, only to redouble their efforts when they see that it’s having no effect.

How about taking another tack, boys? Trying something different for a change? No?

Okay then. Have fun doing your thing.

This is Where I Panic.


Week two is the week for telling myself I can’t possibly be on track to get 50,000 words written. Even though the word count tracker is telling me I’m slightly ahead of schedule, I don’t believe it. Gahhhh.

Deep breaths are necessary.

I’ve noticed something else about myself during NaNo. I have a serious attitude problem when I’m deep in a writing project. I’ve been getting huffy with anybody who has the audacity to take up space in my brain. Which is really unfair, obviously.

A key thing for me to work on through the rest of this month will be in not losing my perspective on the fact that other people have a right to some of my time, and they also have a right to expect basic politeness.

And this doesn’t only apply to my external behavior. I think, barring a few lapses, I’ve been doing okay with that. It’s mostly an internal thought issue. While this may not seem like a major problem, it really is. Whether or not our thoughts are apparent to others, they are affecting us. Who wants to go around having grumpy thoughts about other people all the time? Probably nobody; yet a lot of us do it all the time.

I can’t imagine this has a marvelous effect on our writing.

So that’s my goal for the rest of this week, and the rest of the month, and hopefully forever: Be nice to people, and don’t panic.

Inspiration? During NaNo?

You’re kidding, right? You expect me to be inspired/inspiring during the month of November? And to talk about it in an intelligible and enthusiastic manner?


You guys, I’ve been staring at this screen with unfocused eyes for far too long, listening to Bon Iver because that’s about as much as I can handle.

Go out and find your own dang inspiration.

But in other news, I’m getting close to the 15,000 words mark.

Easier Than Expected.

Well, here we are, three days into the 50,000 word endurance race.

Despite all my moaning and groaning and death-wishing of the last several weeks, I’m pleased to report that it’s (so far) going fairly well. Characters are presenting themselves. Plotlines are becoming more solid. Random new ideas are prancing onto the stage and taking their bows.

By the end of the day, I will have at least 5,213 words down.

It’s a bit early in the game for me to feel like I have much in the way of advice to offer, but I guess what I can glean so far is to suck it up and get on with things and skip all the melodrama and worry.


Music For Building.

Here we are, people. The first day of November. The first day of NaNoWriMo.

This calls for a new Adam Young film score.

It’s based on the carving of Mt. Rushmore, this time. It’s kinda perfect actually, because NaNo is all about building, isn’t it? This score has a nice range, from inspiring, “Let’s get this thing done!” bravado, to quirky “I can’t believe we’re actually considering doing this” humor, to downright sweet.

So for all your word sprint needs, you can get it from the website as usual, or just listen to it right here.