Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The YA Novel I Will Never Write, But You Can

The other day I reminded my oldest that he had a lot of homework to do. Then I turned to my middle guy and reminded him that he had a project to work on. My oldest, Christopher, gave me one of those long, bored sighs, and said, "Gawd, you get so worked up over school. Everything matters to you."

Uh, yeah.

My middle guy knew enough to go into his room and pretend to be working on his project (thanks to Vista, you can now happily keep your myspace page open while putting up the Romeo and Juliet notes when Mom walks by) My youngest followed him and whispered, "Wait for me." These actions left me alone with my oldest.

"It would be nice if you cared about...I don't know. School. Getting a part time job. Saving tigers. Something."

"You know what your problem is, Mom?"

"Oh, I can name three..."

"No, no, it's because you forget about Nibiru all the time."

Nibiru. A club? An Egyptian girlfriend? A drug?

"Who is Nibiru?"

"You are serious. You actually don't know."

"I don't. But I learned how to text. So I'm trainable. Who is Nibiru?"

"It's the planet that will end the world." He gazes at me with a mix or horror and fear exactly like my geometry teacher did once when he looked at my worksheet. "Mom, everyone knows about Nibiru. It's everywhere. How could you not know?"

So I researched it. It took about five minutes. These are my scientific findings based on the kids in my kitchen and YouTube:

1. My husband now thinks I'm nuttier than he once did.

2. It's based on a Sumerian prophecy. I happen to love the Sumerians, and not just for their pottery shards.

3. Middle graders are largely familiar with this idea, but they call it Planet X.

4. My guess is that it's hooey. Slick, sellable hooey, but hooey nonetheless.

5. The History Channel endorses the idea. The History Channel. And I used to take them seriously.

It's spreading like mono among seventh through twelfth graders as it has all the ideas that appeal to teens: doomsday, renewal, apocalyptic imagery, prophecy fulfillment, only a few will survive, boiling seas, the reality of mysticism.

It's not my cup of tea, but when I brought it up in front of a group of teens this weekend, they resoundingly said, "If you wrote about Nibiru, we would read it."

So you YA folks looking for ideas, here's the YouTube link to inspire you. Somebody should write this book.



adrienne said...

Never heard of it either...but then, I'm not a teenager. I'll have to run it by my husband. He keeps up with that stuff.

Marcia said...

Um -- all I've got to say is "Huh?" This is why I write historical. If I'm going to research, let it be stuff that I can access through recorded history. The current stuff is too hard!

Mindy Wentner said...

I believe this is true. Anyone who read the bible can see that this is going to happen.

Anne Spollen said...

See Adrienne and Marcia, this is what I live with every day, so it's easy to keep up with it. It amazes me that there are so many folks (I mean parent type folks, not teens) who buy into this and by doing so encourage this belief.

I know, Mindy, that a lot of people believe this is true and the Bible as a document has been mentioned. I'm a lot more familiar with the New Testament than the Old, but I can't think of any Scripture that supports this. Which reading do you feel refers to this prophecy?

Mary Witzl said...

Why haven't my kids heard of this? No doubt they'd been wasting too much time watching the nonsense they watch; your kids are a cut above mine.

I'd write about this if I could. But I suspect that my own past troubles with geometry would get in the way of my descriptions. This sounds like something the physics and space technology nerds would have gobbled right up.

Love the way you responded to your son asking you what your problem was. I'm absolutely going to use that next time I'm asked that question.

Mary Witzl said...

Oh crap: I meant 'they've'. The last time I edited a comment here, though, I lost the whole lot. See what I get for being lazy?

Anne Spollen said...

It's ok,Mary -- I read so many student papers, I read it as they've anyway.

They're not a cut above -- they're just boys. My son happens to love all the science fiction type stuff out there, all the military history, all the intergalatic warrior sagas, that stuff. So this is right up his alley.

But Nibiru is a perfect teen idea: why bother if it's all going to end soon? It's like a cosmic shrug.

Christy Raedeke said...

Yay! I love your kids! I hope there are a whole lot more kids interested in this kind of weird stuff when Flux publishes my book next year.

Are they reading Zecharia Sitchin or just getting their info from the web and History Channel?

Colorado Writer said...

What the crap? *going to youtube*

Katie said...

Okay, this is hilarious! I love reading your blog and when I first saw the photo I thought, "Ooo! Christy can write about this!"

And then I saw here comment :-) she loves some space stuff.

Anyhoo... hope you have a great weekend!


Anne Spollen said...

Oh, Christie, they get their information from the Internet, a few graphic novels and the kids at lunch. They are rebelling against having been read to pre natally by avoiding books entirely. But, yeah, they do love the space, mystical stuff.

Now Stephanie, get off youtube and go write that YA book.

Thanks, Katie, so far the weekend has been going great! : )

brave chickens said...

The first time I heard about Planet X was during a RE class. It was so fascinating, and my teacher answered as much as he could on the matter.