Happy New Year! I'm off to a slow writing start in 2023, but I am on it, and editing has begun on my NaNoWriMo manuscript of Lizzy through the Looking-glass, a continuation of Darcy in Wonderland. I am going to be very honest with you. I have tried in the past to keep my works apolitical, unwilling to alienate the large percentage of my readers who possess ideological views in stark contrast to my own. My rapid dismissal from a certain blogging consortium nearly three years ago after actually opening my mouth regarding what I perceived as a pretty obvious miscarriage of justice did, at first, seem to support that stance. But I am a big believer in not overly trusting one's immediate feelings and reactions to a trauma. Time's perception often changes things. Politics don't really have much of a place in most of the stories I choose to write, just as they really don't in Austen's, either, but my eldest child (the inspiration for my version of Alice) came out as non-binary last spring, and I must write about it. At a time when books on such subjects are being censored, it feels urgent to unflinchingly challenge societal prejudice towards people experiencing gender dysphoria. Lizzy through the Looking-glass has presented itself as my medium, so that is what this book is about.
OK, so that's the overall theme, but my approach to the story is the same as I took with its predecessor: encapsulating Carroll's fantasy within the orderly world the Darcys' inhabit, parodying and blending the contrasting voices of Austen and Carroll into one wacky tale. For the most part, this task comes easily to me. I have been imbibing the works of both authors for practically my entire life. I had only one big stumbling block imposing this treatment on Through the Looking-glass, and its name is Jabberwocky. It's Carroll's most famous and beloved poem, and for good reason. The musicality of this nonsensical poem is unparalleled. The words may have little meaning, but they paint a vivid picture, nonetheless, and have inspired countless adaptions, interpretations, as well as musicians (more than one band has taken the name, and many have set the poem to music), dance crews, and even its own film. This ground feels pretty sacred. How do I meddle with it?
Well, I have a plan, though I have yet to execute it. I jumped over the poem in November, realizing I would never hit my word count if I got bogged-down in it. In preparation for tacking this hurdle, I have been reciting the poem (like Neil Gaiman above, I memorised it as a child), reading the poem, and listening to the poem A LOT. Living and breathing Jabberwocky. Youtube has been of great assistance. I have dotted this post with some of my favorite versions that I have found on the platform. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Tschüss!