Greetings! Welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday Muse, ladies and gentlemen!
First things first, I am absolutely, 100% behind my cohort’s idea for Halloween-y books for October. I mean, obviously. Halloween is also *my* favorite holiday, though perhaps for different reasons than most. I’m Pagan (hey, is that a new thing about myself I haven’t shared before? Or has it just been a while since I mentioned it?), so it’s actually a holiday of spiritual significance to me. I’m reserving at least one Monday of this month to talk about Samhain, but I’m saving it so I can work through my long-standing rage at the show Supernatural vis a vis its near slanderous misuse of both the name and what the holiday means. I understand it’s been six seasons, but I’m not over it.
Thanks, CW. I totally love having my holidays demonized. Very creative of you.
*cough* Like I said, long-standing rage. Oooo-sah, C…let it go.
Oh, God…that just reminds me how much I hate Frozen. I feel like I’m thisclose to the Dark Side sometimes. But I have legit reasons for not liking Frozen; writerly reasons that make total sense when I spell them out. Mostly, have you noticed that the movie makes no damn sense? It really doesn’t. And it’s got such little character development. Well, I suppose Elsa changes, but that’s about it. I mean…”Let it Go” is all well and good, but not when you’re the fricken Queen! Those people are relying on you, dammit! You know who the villain is? Their parents, for teaching a girl to hate herself for being different. Not Hans. He’s just an opportunistic shit. And what purpose does that rock troll song even serve if the movie is all about familial love? Like, seriously…
OK. I seem to be in a really ranty mood today. Sorry about that. Truth be told, I had no idea what I was going to write about today. I literally sat down at the computer and just told my fingers to type something. I really need some time off from writing. Time off to recuperate and take my own advice from a few Muses ago: take in some inspiration. A couple of my favorite authors–Christopher Moore and Jim Butcher–have recently released new books (the first in a new series in the case of the latter) and I am taking them with me on my trip to EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival. This week, I have become a case study in why you should all follow my advice. Fortunately for me, the next couple of days just involve typing up some character bios, so I’m going to take some time to take in other peoples’ writing (and delicious food).
But because I cannot leave you with absolutely NOTHING, I recently came across the Saxo Grammaticus version of Hamlet because I went to a used book store and bought ALL THE BOOKS (or, really, filled up an entire basket of used books on a variety of subjects), including a trilogy of British Myths and Legends. Also in this trilogy is the story of Macbeth, which is one of those great legends based in history, but it was the story of Amleth (Hamlet) that really stuck with me. It was obviously a source for Shakespeare, but contains none of the grief; that was all Bill. Reading it, I realized how much of himself Shakespeare put into the play; no doubt the name reminded him of his son, Hamnet, who’d died young but a few years earlier.
Here’s a version not bound in a shiny hardback:
If I had to pull a magical lesson out of all of this, it’d be: yes, your story has been done before. It’s been told, probably dozens of times. But not by you. And if Shakespeare can transform Amleth (and, of course, Thomas Kyd’s Ur-Hamlet) into one of the greatest studies of grief and vengeance in the English language, you can probably do a pretty good job putting your own spin on anything you write, even if it’s a story that’s been done before. There are only a few different stories, but there’s only one of you. (OK, that last one was a bit trite, wasn’t it? Like I said, I really need a break.)
OK! Look at that. A couple rants, a cute message, and a link to an old Danish myth that was originally in Latin! I think I did pretty well. Yeah!
All right, that’s it. This mess is over. I’ll see you on Friday for the next in our Horror Classics Boozy Books special! Depending on my mood, it’ll either be Frankenstein; or, The Modern Promethus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley or Dracula by Bram Stoker. Both are masterpieces, but I have to decide if I want to do the one I actually like first or get the other one out of the way. Which one do you think deserves to be done on Halloween week? Dracula, right? Yeah. This week, it’s Frankenstein. (It’s the one I don’t really like, in case anyone cared.)
(I know no one did.)