12 May 2010

How Do You Make that Backwards Я?

One of the questions I am asked about NEVЯLAND is–How the hell do you make that backwards “R”?

yaFirst, it’s not actually an “R”. It’s the Russian letter Я–pronounced YA. It’s also the first person singular pronoun “I” in Russian.

And I make Я with a simple mouse click that switches my English keyboard setting to a Russian keyboard setting on my Mac (PC can do it, too).

Mac has an upper task window, and my window shows an American flag to tell me I’m using the English keyboard setting.

When I want to type Russian letters, I click on the American flag, a drop menu appears with a Russian flag in it. I then click on the Russian flag, and VOILA! My keyboard is transformed into a Russian keyboard.

(Not the actual letters printed on the keys, of course–I have a picture of a Russian keyboard taped to my wall to show me where the Russian letters are located as if I were using a real Russian keyboard.)

Once I type Я, I click on the Russian flag in my Mac’s upper task window, click on the American flag in the drop down menu, and I’m back to using the English keyboard setting.
On the Russian keyboard, the Я letter is where the English letter Z is located.

As I typed the outline for the first book, I had to come up with a NAME for the book and the series.

I must have a NAME when I write a book as the NAME suggests a theme for me and helps keep me focus.

The title NEVERLAND came quite easily, but I didn’t like the way it looked.

I played around the the spelling:




And none of them felt right. I continued outlining.

So, I’m plotting Chapter Three: Laynie, who has witnessed the hysterical chaos that has taken over Junebug and is horrified by the death of a couple of children, is determined to ride her bike out of Junebug to her grandmother’s farm about three miles outside of town.

However, in her panic, she forgets about the invisible wall surrounding the city and imprisoning the children.

She peddles up to the city limits at full speed and crashes into the invisible barrier. She’s thrown forward. Her head slams into the invisible wall, and she’s knocked out.

As she regains consciousness, she hears a hissing sound and a terrible metallic sharp odor assails her nostrils.

When she’s fully awake, she sees Cassie, a classmate from Junebug Junior High spray painting in the air–and the letters are hanging in the air on the invisible wall.

Cassie is a mainstreamed special education student classified as an Idiot-Savant who is a genius at math but has little to no social or verbal skills.

She likes to listen to audio stories, though, and her favorite story is Peter Pan.

She tells Laynie that a Blue Fairy has visited Junebug during the night and has taken all the adults away, including her parents.

Laynie realizes that Cassie is confusing two stories: Peter Pan and Pinocchio.

Pinocchio features the Blue Fairy, a motherly figure who helps Pinocchio become a real boy.

As Laynie walks away from Cassie and her “painting on the air”, Cassie calls out, “Good-bye. Don’t let the Blue Fairy get ‘cha!”

Laynie turns around and sees what Cassie has written “on the air”, which is

And that’s how the title with it’s Я came about.

The title also reveals a major theme about growing up in a world without adult supervision, much as the children in Peter Pan’s NEVERLAND:

  • What kind of “world” would several thousand Children build if they were left to fend and defend for themselves?
Do you have a question about NEVЯLAND or writing in general? Send me your question, and I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP.

Thanks for your support and encouragement. Although writing is a solitary event, putting a novel together is a collaborative effort–and I’m getting all sorts of great advice and encouragement from friends, new and old, as well as fellow writers.

See you on the bookshelves,

Larry Mike Garmon

No comments:

Post a Comment