I’m a firm believer that resolutions should not be a once a year decision. That being said, I am declaring my latest resolution to update this blog one of many resolutions I will make in 2015.
To begin my blog updates, I’m making the posts more “Alana-like” and adding structure. Each post will include something that has inspired me and an update on my writing.
A SPANISH ARTIST AS MY MUSE
Last night, my husband and I went to a New Year’s Eve dinner at Coqueta in downtown San Francisco. The chef (@chefchiarello) used four Spanish artists (Miro, Dali, Picasso, and Gaudi) as his inspiration and the theme for the night.
Two particular dishes stood out to me. One was an ironic, yet delicious, interpretation of Miro’s Still Life with Old Shoe oil painting. Picture below includes the painting and a server passing out chicken croquette’s from an old shoe.
The second was an translation of a quote by quirky Salvador Dali (the Spanish chef emphasized the accent on the “i”). In Dali’s opinion, purgatory included eating sea urchin and ham. The chef brought the vision to life with dry ice, and I’ll admit, purgatory was tasty. Check out my video on instagram: http://instagram.com/p/xTWnczEOuJ/?modal=true.
I consider myself superstitious (can’t fight the jinx theory!), and I thought it was a nod from the universe that Dali was one of the artists honored at last night’s dinner. Dali is a teacher at Vita Post Mortem Academy in my next young adult, fantasy series about a girl who goes to school taught by spirits. Dali’s character is bizarre and eccentric. His classroom is a collection of clocks stopped at exactly 4:17, the time he died. As a school assignment, he asks the students to decorate their own urn while he has colorful conversations with his old friend / foe Picasso.
I have been brainstorming ideas for a book trailer as well. It would include creepy scenes driving through dark woods, doors creaking, and curtains blowing ominously. I was hoping my cousin Jane would record an unplugged version of Eminem and Rihanna’s song, “The Monster,” and my cousin Melanie would narrate. Fingers crossed they are on board.
I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You’re trying to save me, stop holding your breath
And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy
Other than that, I’m still pinning a few pictures to the Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/alanasiegel/afterlife-lessons/
And my editor is reading through my draft. I’m hoping to publish the book in the Spring!
Four plane rides, five diligence meetings, four states, six coffee catch-ups, and one Bat Mitzvah. That’s how I spent my first week of December. I was impressed. Okay, so I wasn’t attacked by monsters, I wasn’t gallivanting around Rome, and I wasn’t traveling on a trireme, but we can’t all be demigods searching for the House of Hades like Percy Jackson’s friends aboard the Argo II.
I did manage to find time to write a few more chapters of my next book series, Bone-Chilling. As I approached the last few chapters, I noticed the characters suffer from time travel whiplash. If you were able to see ghosts, like the main character, Juliandra Winklevoss, you would also have a hard time keeping track of which time period your teachers were from.
She knows one thing for certain, if they teach at Vida Post Mortem Academy, they must be superheroes. President John F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Eleanor Roosevelt, are just a few of the spirits that make a translucent appearance.
Dead or alive, historic or unknown, traveling or stationary, there are many different types of superheroes. They can make sweeping changes or simply bring a smile to your face. My mom forwarded this picture of one of my favorite dancers from So You Think You Can Dance, Twitch. He is the king of optimistic superheroes.
At the end of the day, one of my favorite reasons to travel is to see my rag-a-muffin cat, Zeus. Named after a Greek God, he too, likes to dress the part. Happy Holidays!
As Halloween approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about monsters. Ghosts, mummies, and zombies will haunt the streets in a few weeks, scaring children and tricking homeowners for treats, but just like a 9-year old boy in a werewolf costume, is there a little sugar sweet kindness beneath all that blood and gore?
Today’s popular fantasy fiction tells us that sometimes the monsters are the heroes. Perhaps they are actually selfless, innocent victims, fighting their instincts to protect the ones they love. Here’s a few examples.
Lena Duchannes, from the book and movie, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, is a Caster (in layman’s terms, a witch). Due to a family curse, she will find out if she is a light or dark Caster on her sixteenth birthday, and there is nothing she can do about it. Of course, before all this happens, she falls in love with a non-Caster. Serious trouble.
Witches are bad, but how about aliens? Daemon Black from the book Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the hot, arrogant alien who lives next door. An entire galaxy of enemies want to kill him, and Katy can’t keep her hands off him.
Lastly, I can’t write a blog post about monsters fighting their instincts without including my main squeeze, Edward Cullen from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Vampires were made to love and kill. Very dramatic.
As I write my next book series about a girl who goes to school in a haunted mansion, I struggle with the definition of monster. Who is the bad guy? Who saves the day? It might be the same person! (Or ghost!) Stayed tuned for more on my Bone-Chilling series.