Writing My Life

Now and Then

… why mess around with a mash-up? …

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‘Mashup’ is recombinant art, derived art. Some may call it a type of plagiarism resulting from the impulse to create paired with a lack of imagination. Others will contend that this process of remixing source materials, whether they be “found sounds”, literature or pop music has great artistic merit. ~ from http://www.mashmashup.com/

For the 10 of you who may have read the first couple of chapters of Tess of the d’Urberloups: The Mashup, you may be asking yourself why in heaven’s name would I waste my time doing such a thing? Here are some reasons, in no particular order – ridiculous as they may seem!

  • I have “an impulse to create …
  • … but  a lack of imagination.” None of my “novel” ideas are going anywhere!

"Sleigh bells ring, are you listenin'? In the lane, snow is glistenin'. It's a beautiful night; HE'S happy tonight; PROWLIN' in a winter wonderland." ~ MashUp lyric and artwork (foto-by-fliker)

  • Classic mash-ups provide a great vocabulary-building exercise! How else can one discover the meanings of so many archaic words that nobody uses anymore – except maybe the Brits? Words like votive – and we’re not referring to a candle but rather to a pledge or vow; ostleress – a female stableman/woman; one who cares for horses.

It’s also great fun to find and use these kinds of words in my remix. Among the favorites I have interjected thus far are mollified, preternatural, and portent.

  • This project helps me brush up on my limited French because the fictional d’Urbervilles and the mashed-up d’Urberloups hail from Brittany! So I can throw in several translations of werewolf or wolf : par exemple,  loup; loup-garou; bâfrer; et tombeur de femmes.
  • I want an “up-close and personal” relationship with a mentor text. Ann Cannon suggests writers keep an exemplary text in the back of their minds to guide them in the direction they want their novels to go. The “model” may feature a similar tone, text structure, setting or characters.   “MashUps” probably go beyond the mentor text idea, however; maybe even exploiting the relationship into becoming a rather tawdry affair. Oh well.
  • This project is something I think I can actually finish! 52 chapters in 52 weeks – just like in the old days of novel serialization in newspapers and magazines. I don’t have to search for blogging ideas – not that I really struggle with that anyway, but this is unique for a blog. I think.
  • I hope to attract some fans of mash-ups to my blog. I’d LOVE to get their input and perhaps use readers’ ideas to shape an even better remix. An interactive writing experience!
  • I like to make the writing process “transparent” – show revisions as they happen; reflect upon my progress or lack there of, etc. While many writers worry about publicizing their wips via blogs, I have fewer worries about someone stealing the “mash-up” idea. I guess I don’t have that much faith in this project. I mean, who would WANT to steal it?
  • This is a fun way to participate in the WordPress Weekly Challenge. This is is for the wimpy bloggers who chose not to take on the WordPress Daily Challenge – sort of like running a half 14% marathon.

Well, that’s about all I can think of for now.

Author: rbs

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