Re-Telling and Re-Taleing with @CatRambo and @RachelSwirsky

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Every time I sell a story (in this case “One Quiet Night” in Volume 2 of Mosaics), I like to use the money to do something which will help me as a writer. This normally means taking a class that I think will help me, either from a networking perspective, a skills one or just because it’s something I want to do.

There were eight of us, plus Cat and Rachel which really pushed G+ to its limits. Bandwidth issues aside though, it was a fun two hours. I’m a mythology nerd of the highest order and this was an excuse to start thinking about stories I’d like to retell and the ways in which to do them. I’ve been a fan of Rachel’s since reading her story “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” and loved her recent story in Uncanny, she’s also known for her reworkings of stories and fairy tales.

I always enjoy classes like this, coming out with at least one idea and the vast scope of re-telling stories was much bigger than I expecting (from things like Romeo and Juliet, which is a retelling of the Greek myth of Pyramus and Thisbe (one of my favourites), going all the way through to modern fan fiction and satirical works like Scalzi’s Redshirts (which takes the piss out of Star Trek incredibly well).

I came out of the class with an idea for a sci fi retelling of Pandora’s box (which I’m sure is popular) and a Persephone story. As usual with Cat’s classes, they leave you with this desire to write (even if my own mood isn’t exactly conducive to doing that right now). Both Cat, who was the quiet host, and Rachel are excellent teachers and this is an excellent class, especially as the final section addressed cultural appropriation and how to handle unhappy people convinced you’ve nicked their cultural heritage for your own purposes.

Rachel also recommended the Writing the Other class which seems to me to be a natural compliment to this class. That’s definitely a class I’m looking at taking, even if it won’t be for a while.

It was a fantastic evening, even if we ran over time-wise and the video didn’t work (again eight people is a lot for any Hangout to deal with). I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the class write as well as doing some myself when my mood picks up.

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