the exquisite William Butler Yeats penned one of my favorite poems into existence somewhere around a hundred years ago:
A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.
I am – and have for a long time been – so in love with this tiny poem as to consider tattooing a line from it on my body. I have since narrowed down my tattoo plans, but that was just so you know how much I adore it. it’s sad and beautiful, which all of my favorite poems are (don’t get me started on Annabel Lee – I melt every time).
all that to say, like many girls I have an interest in and love for the idea of mermaids, for whatever reason. unlike many, however, I like the bleak, tragic side of those tales- the deaths, the retribution, the eeriness. I love the siren myths, the old Norse legends of Rán- stories with hideous creatures singing themselves into the favor of unsuspecting sailors before drowning them. while I enjoyed my fair share of Emily Windsnap books as a tween, the darker stories have always been that toward which I gravitate. (we shouldn’t really get into what I think of the modern treatment of “vampirism” in recent “literature”. I get a bit heated.)
I’ve had this story about a human-turned-siren in my head for a while, and in my secret boards on
pinterest for a while. I tried writing it once or twice, and it fizzled out each time. I think I want to turn every idea I have into a full-length novel and am only just now (um…maybe last week? yeah, it might be that recent) discovered that I can write short stories and novellas as well.
so yesterday I jotted down a few notes, and today I sat down at my laptop and recorded my first efforts. it’s not that exciting, I’ll warn you up front. it’s really just me typing and back-spacing strings of words and occasionally clicking over to pinterest for a refresher on something I’d wanted to include, or a dash of inspiration. (I didn’t even spice things up with a trip to dictionary.com.) so this is quite nerve-wracking, in a way, because you get to see that my writing process is really not that magical. just in case you had been thinking that before. which I’m sure you were. so sure that I’m going to stop talking about it.
this post is also an opportunity to couple my new project with something that my lovely, amazingly-talented writer friends have been urging me to join in on: the newly invented “#WatchMeWrite” tag. it took me a while to produce a sample because a) I don’t have a mac and needed my tech-savvy brother to help me find an alternate program and b) everything I tried to write “on camera” was coming out boring, awkward, boring, and did I mention boring? hopefully this satisfies!
so here it is, my new project, temporarily titled “Siren Song”- because that was what I called the pinterest board, okay? (p.s. bear with me on the tense in this piece – I cannot in words express my love for second-person-tense in fiction, when it’s done well, and preferably with longing and dismay. however, this story is proving difficult in terms of remembering the perspective I’m supposed to be in. I’ll work on consistency.)
thanks Sam Chaffin and E. R. Warren for making me do this!! go check out their blogs/vimeos and watch their videos of the tag! and to those of you who were tagged and haven’t participated, or haven’t been tagged but would love to make a video, get right on it! it’s so much fun/pressure and I loved it. make sure to tag it #WatchMeWrite and tweet about it, and feel free to share a link to it in the comments below!
(song: If I Had A Heart by Fever Ray (my love for this song is unparalleled. that may be extreme. but I love it lots, thanks to the epic show Vikings on the History Channel).)
(video assistance credits: introduction to and help with the program ChronoLapse from my big brother, video game developer extraordinaire, Jake Albano, and video/audio/slide work/help from my stellar film-editing-genius little brother Ben Albano. they’re the best.)