Thoughts from the Editor: Shabby Chic Writing

You may not know it, but one of my many obsessions is home decorating. I stalk blogs, I learn and I apply that small bit of knowledge to doing my best to improve our little place. It’s addictive.


Being a good little Southern girl in my, well, thirtysomethings, I’ve discovered that my tastes and interest have changed. And yes, it’s true what they say, we tend to revert back to what we know. Gasp! We become, in some respects, like our parents. For me, that means planting, pruning, decorating, just like my sweet mama. (The sewing, not so much, since I’m pretty sure I’m ADHD and will never have the patience for that craziness).

Regardless , my interests have changed and though my first love will always be writing, I’m discovering that all my little obsessions are converging.

As with writing, with the collection of experience and experimentation, my decorating hobby has grown, particularly in all things Shabby Chic. I love the process of finding some thrift store goody, painting it up to make it look new and then sanding it down to make it seem old again.

I love the process of breathing life into something that has gone dormant.

Writing can be shabby’d and in that process, can be brilliant. I’m not talking about satirical elements in mashups, though many are brilliant. (I adored ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,’ no need to roll your eyes).

I’m speaking specifically about taking a constant, literal or historical, and twisting it into something new, fresh, yet something that seems familiar. Shabbying up fiction.

Rice did it with Christ the Lord, Priest did it with Dreadnought, in a sense, and even OM Grey did it with the Tudor dynasty in Avalon Revisited.

I think the draw is that we crave familiarity while paradoxically yearning for something unique and inventive. If we look to the the past, we see reflections of things that are present in our lives today. Political turmoil, wars, the liberation of nations under tyrannical rule, the evolution of industry and the battle between those who shun that industry in favor of faith. I personally tend to sit in the middle of those two.

But it is this desire, I think, for something old-made-new that attracts readers to mashups. We have this curiosity about the past with the hope that we will not repeat the sins of our fathers.

So, I’m curious, of the deep well of past inspiration, what would interest you the most? Would you read something that dwells on the private life of the Virgin Queen or the how Mr. Tesla came to his theories? Would you like to see the last year of Poe’s life or would the genesis of Shakespeare’s career be more interesting to you?

Talk amongst yourselves.