Good morning, dino-mites!
How are you now that you’ve faced the traumatic NaNoWriMo? And if you haven’t faced it (like me), how do you console your NaNo friends? Every time they see me, they start bailing. But that could just be because I ate their entire NaNo project…
At least that’s over, and now it’s the time for singing carols like “Writing in a Winter Wonderland” and watching classics like “It’s a Writerful Life.” But most importantly, the time has come to
give get presents! Mariposa says I’ve been naughty this year and will only be getting writer’s blocks in my stocking (which is a lot if you have the size feet that I do), so I’m starting up a petition to convince Santa that I’m a sweet, lovable creature. Will you sign it? Every person who signs it will receive a free assessment of their novel from me.*
If you don’t sign it, then I won’t tell you about Mariposa’s Nutcracker retelling.
(Who am I kidding? You’ll know I’ll tell you anyway.)
About the Setting
The story takes place in a bustling Russian city in 1892, where Clara lives with her uncle (her parents died when she was young…no, this is not a Disney princess film). She is soon whisked off to the magical land of Radost where musical wind blows, presents grow on trees, and the Imbir people threaten to burn your squirrel’s tail (or one of them does).
At first, Clara wants to stay in Radost forever, until she’s attacked by wild ferrets and nearly killed. Then she learns the kingdom is under the rule of tyrant, and sees that this fantastical world is every bit as broken as her own.
About the Characters
Clara is an imaginative INFP who refuses to stop believing in her dreams, and turns a deaf ear to anyone who says she can’t be a ballerina. Christmas is her favorite time of year because it reminds her of her father, mother, and the nutcracker they gave her on their last Christmas together.
Nat, Nathaniel, or as Pozhar likes to call him, Natcracker. As an ENFJ, he’s an amazing leader and can bite people’s heads off in battle if he so wishes (thankfully, he doesn’t). He longs to bring peace to his people, and restore the joy they’ve long been missing.
The Mad Russian
Pozhar is a fiery, unpredictable ESTP (Mariposa is gonna have fun writing this character) who would rather argue with you than go to a party. He specializes in insults, comebacks, and complaints and is rarely found lowering his voice. But underneath his burning exterior beats a warm heart that loves his people dearly.
Clara likes to describe her Uncle Drosselmeyer as “the very incarnation of Scrooge himself who likes Christmas about as much as a child likes stewed prunes.” As an unfeeling banker, he doesn’t shrink from turning people out of their homes on Christmas Eve.
Colonel Viidar is never impressed. He seems to hold a grudge against Nat, and would rather he’d stayed in the real world. Nevertheless, he would die for his people at a moment’s notice and does all he can to free them from the Rat’s rule.
Clara’s Pet Squirrel
Anoushka is a red-tailed squirrel who’s allergic to nuts. She’s Clara’s companion in the cold, lonely nights in her Uncle’s mansion and never fails to (unintentionally) make her laugh.
About Our Plans
Mariposa and I typed up a couple chapters last month between the craziness of family events and other things. December is still going to be crazy (how can it not be?), but I hope to nudge Mariposa every chance I get—even if just for a few minutes in between baking cookies, wrapping my presents (I can’t because of my arms), or sleeping. With enough nudging, she may even finish the first draft by January 1st.
Also, I have a couple important updates. Due to craziness and laziness, I’ll only be posting twice a month until further notice. Secondly, Kassie and Julia are hosting an epic contested dubbed the writer games (see the website for more details). If you’re a writer ready for a challenge, you’ll probably want to hop on over and participate!
*Which simply means I’m going to eat your book and not give it back. You’re welcome.