Mariella Hunt / Syd

MARIELLA’S FRIDAY MUSES: In Which Mariella Blogs About Syd’s Challenge, Beautiful Dancing, And The Band Perry (And Graffiti. Don’t Do It. Think Of The Buildings.)


Hello, my Escapist friends! It’s Friday again…and today I have somewhat of a subject to blog about. So I hope you enjoy it and it isn’t so terribly boring. Syd inspired it, so I can’t take all the credit for it. Read her blog post–it’s the one above mine.

This is a cover for a book I’m working on. I promise this blog post isn’t self-promotion–I’m sharing about this for a reason. Here’s my pitch that I worked on at about 3 in the morning last night: (You can tear it up for grammar, too, if you want!)

Pauline Hemingway is a ballerina. She’s spent all her childhood trying to express herself with grace, in a stuffy Alabama mansion where things are always so quiet. For most of her life there hasn’t been much noise except her music and the fights between her parents–shouting she never listened to, whispers she couldn’t be bothered with.

Then one day, sixteen-year-old Pauly is injured at dance class, leaving her no choice but to come home early. She finds herself walking in on a dark secret that will slam the doors shut on her dreams.

Rumors fly. Pauly is pulled out of school and her dance class for two years, wanting nothing more but to escape. On the night of her eighteenth birthday, she does just that.

The music has long since fallen silent in the halls of her house, leaving nothing but her parents’ fighting to fill in the silence. With a soul thirsting for art and beauty, she will no longer wait for it to come to her. On the night of her birthday, Pauly escapes to New York in search of beautiful dancing.

Will she be able to find it?

This blog post is kind of like a follow-up to Syd’s post before me. I’m blogging about Beautiful Dancing today because I feel I’m really stepping out of my boundaries with writing this one, and for several reasons:

  • There’s no magic in here. No powers. No special potions, no wands, no cursed wishing wells. I wanted to write a book that is more character-driven, so I could learn to develop characters just as well as I probably develop plots. This book is about Pauly and her emotional conflict, and her reaction as she runs away from home and discovers a new place, New York.
  • I’ve never been to Alabama or New York. This is going to take research and all, which is another reason why I’m really stepping out of my little paranormal fantasy romance box.
  • The “dark secret” Pauly walks into is something I’ve (thankfully) never encountered in real life but hear about all the time. I’m not going to tell you what it is because it’d spoil things. If you’re a close friend, you probably know what it is–don’t spoil it. And if you’re not a close friend but making assumptions–it’s probably not what you think it is, either.
  • I’m not a dancer, therefore, I cannot get into Pauly’s head as well as I’ve been able to do with other characters. I will be seeking advice from people who enjoy dancing–particularly ballet–if I ever get in a tough spot with this. Perhaps not so much with hip-hop (there’ll be some of that in this book, too!) because I did hip-hop for about a month…and did one performance before I quit. :P I know just a little about that, but not enough to be an actual dancer.
  • Since they live in the south, it’s natural that I have to give her a slight accent. This is going to be fun. O___o
This story has been brewing in my head for a long time now and I’ve finally been able to make some progress with plotting it. The list above shows how I’m going out of my boundaries with writing. I don’t know if it counts as trying a new genre–I’ll get to that next. But I believe they’re some examples of how you can take Syd’s challenge and weave it into your own work.
As for the audio blog. I think Cherise is doing a podcast. Myself, I’ve been fiddling around more with musical instruments and recording that. I guess I sort of write songs but, quite problematically, I forget them soon after–even if I record them. Here’s an excerpt from my diary:
I get really poetic when I’m up at 4AM with insomnia.
I could share a clip of something I wrote, but they’re not complete, and they’re not…well, they just aren’t ready. I don’t know if they ever will be. ANYWAY I’m getting off-topic here.
I still think I’m going to do the audio narration contest (I can come up with a more artsy name for it later.)
So many contests! So, here’s a list of things I’d like for us to do on here:
  • The Wings by Aprilynne Pike fairy wings contest.
  • The 500 word out-of-the-box contest, hosted by Syd.
  • The audio speak-out-loud story contest that’s in need of a more artsy name.
Wow. That’s a lot. But I don’t feel like we have enough people following us yet to contribute to these. So…have you been recruiting? I know I’ve been spending so much time on Twitter getting us followers and making book blog friends with people. It’s eating up my time. If you’re a thoughtful Escapist you would help us out and spam people’s Facebook walls with our links and email the link to everyone on your contact list and graffiti the url on the wall of your school building tell your friends. (NOTE: The Escapism Project does not in any way promote graffiti. Don’t do it. Think of the poor buildings. This is just me going crazy on my Friday blog post since I rarely have anything to say.)
We’ve reached 2,000 pageviews and I’m just so insanely happy that this blog is going so well. You guys are awesome. You really are. ♥
I’ve got a few books that I’m going to review very soon. I’ve got a couple of overdue reviews on 13 Little Blue Envelopes and Beastly. Soon, there will be more.


I just tried to share a video of a song from The Band Perry, Walk Me Down The Middle, but since youtube hates me there’s only about 27 seconds of it. So, here’s a different video to make up for it. *this video does not work either* UGH what is WITH you, youtube?! Okay, then look up the song. Just do it. It’s gorgeous. I don’t care if you don’t like country music. It’s a pretty song and deserves a chance; plus, I’ve met them and they feel like friends. :)

Happy week, Escapists!
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