YA Indie Carnival: Blast From The Past

Ha, this week on the Indie Carnival, we give you our version of the Breakfast Club! I’m gonna love scrolling through folks’ websites today! Which were you: the jock, the freak, the burn-out, the popular girl, some mix in between? I grew up in the 80s, so as you know with the music, we boiled everything down into a few basic stereotypes. Me, I was the heavy-metal psycho girl, or at least I hear later that’s what some folks thought. I suppose I looked kind of scary to the ‘nice’ girls. I had my old, and I mean old Metallica shirts, before they “****ied out” and went mainstream, back in the day when they had t-shirts with knives sticking out of the toilet with ‘Metal Up Your Ass’ scrawled across the front, my worn leather jacket with Clive Barker’s Nightbreed painted across the back, beaten up combat or work boots, and as much death and skull jewelry as I could comfortably wear without choking myself. This was my school uniform.

Little did the nice girls know that at home, I occasionally stripped off my ‘uniform’, and followed my parents to synagogue, though not very often, and I’m sure with them wondering if I’d been possessed by a dybbuk. And little did they know that while I was angry, it was more of an unfocused anger worn as the badge of a painfully introverted kid trying to keep people away. As high school wore on, I kept my uniform, but found lots of kids I got along with, and became, in the days of constant cliques, a drifter that refused to stay in any one group. So I think I wound up having plenty of cool friends across the board. Once people started talking to me, they discovered that I wasn’t going to eat their head, and I was just kind of quiet and liked hanging out and talking about mythology and Star Trek.

So, how does this relate to writing. Well, the people we were, usually influenced how we wrote. Since I was a neo-Luddite, or at least felt I was very unlucky with electronics, I refused to use a computer, and so I think my mom is the only one with the single hand-written copies of anything I wrote back then. And since I am…mostly not that person anymore, I would be hard-pressed to re-invent the kind of things I wrote, let alone remember them. And really, if I remember accurately, you wouldn’t want me to. Holy purple prose, Batman! I can say that the stuff was broody and dark, definitely gothy. Most involved some kind of myth or at least intercultural theme. I know why I wrote about myth, because I spent hours reading it, I loved it. My favorite at the time was Irish myth, like the Red Branch cycle of Cuchulain, and even more ancient stories that referenced the Fir Bolg or the Tuatha de Danaan and the Battles of Moytura, much like the elves in the Silmarillion. And I wrote about intercultural themes or conflicts probably because I was fascinated by it, and trying to navigate through it. On the one side, there was a strong Jewish community where I lived, that I associated with my family, who as an angsty teenager, I tried to avoid. And Jewish communities are nothing if not powerfully oriented towards our distinctness as a culture. And on the other side, I had the melange of cultures aside from Jewish, that I encountered at school and the rest of my hometown, Irish, Puerto Rican, Italian. There were others, but those folks were probably the most numerous. To sum up, my writing, if I could remember any details would reflect who I was at the time: an angry goth/metal-head shy Jewish girl with a nerdy sci-fi and fantasy streak. It would probably be hugely over-dramatic poetry and prose full of the certainty that authority was bull****, and the cheerleaders and popular girls were all victims of the system, (sorry to Amy Jones, the nice cheerleader in our group :D)!

Though I think I still agree, given the emerging political options, that authority, at least our current authority, is maybe even more bull***. I don’t think that we realized then, and are only starting to realize now after three wars and a persisting economic crisis riddled with congressional and corporate corruption, how good we had it then. The 80s were painfully self-involved, but they were if nothing else, optimistic. I think that people really believed in the American Dream, and in the future, even the teenagers wrapped up in their angst. So I’m pretty sure that this peeped through in my writing, written as it was while I was listening to 80s pop thrown in with the Metallica, Misfits, and Slayer.

I think I would cringe if I read any of my stuff from back then, which is why I have never asked my mom to send it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve asked her to shred or burn it, but I’m sure she never will. She’s a mom. I’m a mom now, and I’m going to keep my daughter’s drawing from when she was four. Of course, she’s awesome. She actually, after catching snippets of Lord of the Rings, drew me a picture of the Eye of Sauron. She thought it looked visually interesting.

Now, with a conventional government job, I obviously don’t dress like that anymore, and people are always absolutely shocked that I was a metal-head. In fact, for some reason, people keep thinking that I’m a vegan to save the animals. I couldn’t be farther from a vegan, my husband and his cousin got an elk this year, hunting, and I’m already planning the cookouts and the meat-fest. And we don’t even own any pets, because none of us, except my daughter, want to take care of one. She’s six, so most likely, that would equal her parents taking care of it. No.

But I think, in retrospect, that my writing now, probably hasn’t changed much, except hopefully to get better, less purple. It is still woven with the mythology that I love, and stuffed with piss, vinegar, and general snottiness at the universe. I think too, that despite toning down the drama, it has gotten darker, more cynical, and in some ways angrier. There is now still, as there probably was then, a streak of optimism that poked through every once in a while because I am hopelessly a child of the 80s, and now I have a daughter whom I hope will someday experience a future full of things like space travel, that my generation could only write about.

Here’s what’s new this week:

The Reckoning by M. Leighton, the second and final book in the Fahllen series, will be available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble on Monday, October 31st. Halloween day!

Visit http://mleightonbooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/reckoning.html for excerpts and the latest on her new release!

Book signing for Crushed by K.C. Blake this Saturday from noon to four at the Northpark Mall in Joplin, MO.!
Read an excerpt here! 

Join The Paranormal Plumes This Weekend Oct. 28-Oct. 30th in Savannah, GA IF YOU DARE! #paranormalplumessociety all weekend for virtual scares 

And don’t forget to visit my fellow carnies high school writing days today, and try to remember your own. It’s Nanwrimo, so who knows, maybe if you haven’t gotten started writing, you’ll get a novel out of one of your own interesting memories!

http://www.refractedlightreviews.com Danny Snell’s Refracted Light Reviews

http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com Patti Larsen, Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, the Hunted series, and the Hayle Coven novels.

http://courtneycolewrites.wordpress.com Courtney Cole, Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://wrenemerson.wordpress.com Wren Emerson, Author of I Wish and a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.

http://laurasmagicday.wordpress.com Laura Elliott, Author of Winnemucca.

http://nicoleawilliams.blogspot.com Nichole A. Williams, Author of Eternal Eden, and the upcoming Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles.
http://fisheramelie.com/blog/ Fisher Amelie, Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://amyjonesyaff.blogspot.com Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://thewarriorseries.blogspot.com T. R. Graves, Author of Warriors of the Cross.
http://ctefft.blogspot.com Cyndi Tefft, Author of Between
http://pjhoover.blogspot.com P.J. Hoover, Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis.
http://www.aliciamccalla.com Alicia McCalla, Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free.

http://heathercashman.com/better_off_read Heather Cashman, Author of Perception.

http://www.abbiglines.com Abbi Glines, Author of Breathe, and the upcoming Existence and Vincent Boys.

http://cidneyswanson.blogspot.com/ Cidney Swanson, Author of Rippler.

http://cherischmidt.blogspot.com, Cheri Schmidt, Author of Fateful, Fractured, and Fair Maiden, Fire Dancer

http://www.lexusluke.com/, Lexus Luke, Author of Manitou, The Sky People Saga, Fire Breather

http://www.suzyturner.com/, Suzy Turner, Author of December Moon and Raven, Dragonslayer

http://kasi-kcblake.blogspot.com/, K. C. Blake, Author of Vampire Rules, Elephant Trainer

http://hereventuality.blogspot.com/, Gwenn Wright, Author of Filter, Ring-Leader

http://kimberlykinrade.com/, Kimberly Kinrade, Author of Bits of You, Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind, Prestidigitator

http://jlbryanbooks.blogspot.com/, J.L. Bryan, Author of Paranormals series- Jenny Pox. Tommy Nightmare & Alexander Death

http://darbykarchut.com/ Darby Karchut, Author of Griffin Rising, and soon Griffin Fire

http://puttingpentopage.com/ Heather Self

http://brynabutler.wordpress.com/ Bryna Butler, author of the Midnight Guardian series


One Response to “YA Indie Carnival: Blast From The Past”

  1. Some of my best friends in high school were metal heads–they didn’t judge and were open to everyone who treated them fairly. Though a hard core, card carrying nerd, I loved my metal head friends. Wickedsauce.

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