1. I Hate Mayo–and not just a little. I really really hate it. I went to a fast food place with my dad who hates Mayo more than I. We spent ten minutes telling the kid behind the counter to NOT put mayo on our burgers. Told him mayo was fruit of the devil and consuming it ensures a ticket to the hot place. It’s fast food . . . the employees are teenagers . . . what did I really expect was going to happen? You guessed it–Mayo. When I tossed the burgers on the counter and stared down the kid who’d taken my money, he grabbed the burgers, turned to the fry cook and muttered, “I told you they’d notice.”
Yeah. He KNEW he was giving me tainted food.
2. I once joined with my brother in a neighbor feud. We put a dead fish under the seat in my neighbor’s car. It was july. The high the next day was 103. I still feel guilty, even though I snicker when I think about it.
3. My husband and I almost broke off our engagement when we took ballroom dance classes together. For the sake of relationship preservation, we quit the classes instead. Years later, I found out that not only CAN the man dance, but he is pretty wicked good at it. What a punk! The whole unwilling to dance thing is his only flaw and remains a sore point with me.
4. I used to steal flowers from La Caille’s gardens in the middle of the night so I could deliver them to my grandma while I ditched school the next day.
5. I don’t think I’m a good role model for teenagers and I shouldn’t admit to floral theft in a public forum.
6. I still mourn the loss of Kaberry Kaboom Ice cream from ben and Jerrys
7. I’m happy. I mean I’m really happy. I don’t have everything in the world, but I have three healthy kids who make me laugh, one husband who alternates between making me laugh and making me sigh with adoration, a roof over my head, heat in the winter and A/C in the summer, and I found success doing the one thing in life I always wanted to do–write.
And I found when I really looked at my life, I am happy. Yeah sure, there are little things that trip me up every now and again, the house isn’t always (or ever) spotless, there’s a list of mile long of have-to-dos, and sometimes I feel like the little stream who sings and gives away and then dries up (making a tragic ending to a children’s song). But when I really put my life under the microscope, I can only smile with what I find.
I think it was last year when they did the census and I turned mine in, but for whatever reason the post office put a spin on that whole “through sleet and snow” oath and failed to deliver my census. The government hired some poor person to call those who were missing in action and ask the questions personally. After I was done and had answered those ultra personal questions, the lady paused for a long moment. I almost thought she’d hung up. Then she said, “Do you have any idea how rare you are?”
I was startled. But I understood what she meant. And sometimes when doubts creep into my life ABOUT my life, I look at that beautiful rare family and smile. Oh yes, I am happy.
J Scott Savage is doing a blog tour when his advanced reading copies are released for the novel Farwold. The blog tour will consist of doing reviews and interviews and he’s giving two free ARC’s for every blogger who becomes part of his tour. He’s capping it at 200 bloggers. You can read the rules at his website: http://jscottsavage.blogspot.com/
I am doing a major plug for this book because I had the privilege of reading it before it was a glimmer in Shadow Mountain’s eye. I read it before Scott had finished writing it and nearly had a nervous breakdown while waiting for him to give it completion. You will not be sorry if you choose to use his book as a review book and a subject for topic on your blog. It was spectacular! Scott is a great visionary. He understands his market, his craft and his characters. His dialogue is rich, his plot–action packed and filling. You’ll love it . . . I promise.
I bought the book A Circle of Quiet just after my booksigning at the BYU symposium. It was on sale, and I can’t turn down a sale. I love to tell Scott how much money I save him. Besides, I loved reading A Wrinkle in Time when I was in fourth grade and was happy to read more about her.
I have shed many a tear since then. Madeleine and I have quite a bit in common. We’re both neurotic writers. We’re both mothers trying to juggle writing careers while dealing with the tsk tsks from other mothers who have it all together when we don’t. We both own grocery stores in small communities. We both married men who loved acting. We’ve been dealt the stinging blow of rejection and have come back screaming, “Is that all you got?”
Okay so maybe neither of us came back screaming for more, but we did come back . . . isn’t that the important thing?
I hate how I’ve discovered how much I love this woman only after it was too late to ever meet her. Madeleine died last September. I would love to give her a hug and say, “Thanks for understanding my very weird life.”
Something that struck me as utterly profound was this statement she made after a rejection she received on her fortieth birthday. This was after her years in the thirties, which were filled with endless manuscript rejections and incredible guilt for taking time to write books when she worried she might be better occupied to learn to make cherry pie and do as other–more proper–mothers do. She decided to, “Stop this foolishness and learn to make cherry pie.”
She covered her typewriter in what she refers to as a great gesture of renunciation and walked around and around her room bawling, totally, utterly miserable.
While pacing and bawling, she stopped, realizing her subconscious mind had already begun working out a novel about failure.
She uncovered her typewriter.
This was her moment of decision. This was her moment where she realized she WAS a writer, no matter what, even if she never had another book published.
A quote from her on this matter is, “I’m glad I made this decision in the moment of failure. It’s easy to say you’re a writer when things are going well.”
I mourn the fact I never got to hug her.
There have been several rocky years where I was faced with the very real possibility that I would never see my name on a future publication. There was a time when I covered my computer, and said, “Stop this foolishness and learn to make pie.” Okay, maybe I never said I’d learn to make pie, but there are so many ways I fall short of other women because I have split my life into other things. I would stop the foolishness of writing, and be like other moms.
I uncovered my computer.
I, too, am glad to have made this decision in my moments of failure. And now with another book coming out, quite possibly two, I wonder that I even considered it. There is no such thing as second child infertility with novel writing. If you can write one . . . you can write two, and more. If you can make the choice to keep writing amidst rejection and failure, then you’ve proved something important–to you and to the world, but most importantly to you.
You proved you really are a writer.
Art by Kevin Wasden–the brilliant
J Scott Savage brought this book to my attention, so I went out and bought it (no easy feat since it was first published in 1987 . . . thanks Heavens for eBay!). I had no idea Stephen King wrote fantasy, so the idea of this book intrigued me.
At first . . . well, I hated it. The writing is all passive with very little dialogue and the first several chapters are predominantly exposition. These are major irritants to me as a reader. However, I experienced a change in heart somewhere around page fifty. At that time, I determined I actually liked this book. The story worked for me. And in spite of all the rules being broken, the broken rules ended up working for me too.
The story is centered around two young boys, princes of the land of Delain. The older is wise and good and the second . . . well, he’s not quite good, but decidedly not bad either. The second is simply confused. Their father, the king, is murdered, and the older brother is blamed and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. This leaves the younger brother, who knows the truth of the murder since he witnessed it first hand, to claim the throne and the kingdom. Naturally with the good and wise brother locked up and the confused brother in charge, the kingdom falls to ruin–exactly as planned by the murderer.
There are some lovely bits of fantastical elements in the book, some poignant thoughts on judgment, and a clever little twist involving dinner napkins.
While the book is marketed to young adults, I personally will not be suggesting it to my twelve-year-old, not for several years yet. I liked the book, but felt some of the thematic elements are decidedly adult or at least older teen. I know . . .I know. Kids these days are grown up enough to handle adult themes and childhood no longer smells like honey on the wind. Innocence is for babes in arms, not teenagers–not any more.
But my twelve-year-old remains mine, and I get to make decisions like this for a while still. If I can shield her away in a protective bubble for a little longer, I plan to do so. Don’t worry, she won’t be getting Rapunzel syndrome or anything, my protective bubbles are nowhere near the isolation of a tower with no doors.
However if you know of any towers with no doors where I could lock my daughter up in until she’s got a master’s degree . . .
I’m kidding! sorta . . .