Cooler I Have Been

I’m over the Book Club Blues and previous “froggy” state and have moved on to more-than-contemplating my goals, which meant working on a short story today in this freaky heatwave of 113 degrees, which is all anyone in the San Fernando Valley and environs can talk about. People who live in the desert (parts of which were cooler, today, than here) are laughing at us. Freaky. In any case, I edited while my son ate breakfast.  I woke up before he was finished napping and edited. I edited while he ate dinner and watched Pocoyo. I edited when my husband returned from work and the toddler rushed him to the back of the house for “animals” and other shenanigans games that unfortunately involved the toddler’s head meeting his bedroom wall, loudly. And I edited after the toddler retired with Bear, Nemo, Monkey and a medley of blankets tucked around him as our A/C is effective—it’s not icy in here, but definitely coooool, dee da dee da dee da. I cannot write in unsupervised heat, think in it, create, mother well, but who can mother well in 113 degrees? On days such as these, DVD’s of Pocoyo, Bob The Builder, Thomas The Train, Toy Story—all count as Caregivers. And toddler-books, of course. And folding the laundry and having him put it away in drawers I point out to him is a good little canter. And washing dishes with the toddler in charge of the rinser apparatus distracts and teaches for at least 15 minutes. And there’s always: Crafts. I’m not all deadbeat mother. Just—penned in by Farenheit. Tomorrow, though, we will drive to the beach dee da dee da dee da…

Finished Alice I Have Been, by Melanie Benjamin. (Rhyme!) The most interesting part of the book (for me) was 3/4’s of the way through when Alice is middle-aged and her sons must go to war. I won’t spoil it for you, but Benjamin’s writing skills kick in here tremendously, enough so that I zipped straight over to Wikipedia’s Alice Liddell (Alice In Wonderland) as soon as I finished the book. I can’t imagine writing historical fiction (unless, of course, I’m writing about my own life). I remain confused about the genre–am I to trust the author’s “historical research”, and/but how much? This is how I ache to be reassured: “Hi, I’m Melanie Benjamin and I channeled the ghost of Alice Liddell for a year,” or, “I found the missing pages from Dodgson’s journal, you know, the pages thought burnt by his relatives, those pages stating what REALLY went on between he and Alice,” etc. It seems that when reading historical fiction I need my hand held (tightly),  and da dee da dee da dee da… Pay attention to the train, is all I can say. The train that warm afternoon from the picnic back to Oxford. And no matter what really happened, there’s this: Alice was just a little girl. It wasn’t her fault. And even if it was her fault, it wasn’t her fault, because she was small, a child, an innocent with difficult parents and a creepy neighbor who liked young girls—lots and lots of young girls.

This dog has nothing to do with anything, except that we are seeking to adopt a labrador, preferably a golden lab, but who can say for sure? We met one dog over the weekend, but he felt the need to dominate our getting-to-know-you chat by totally ignoring my husband, putting me in a neck hold with his paws and almost slamming me down on a coffee table. Plus, he tried to nip the toddler. Luckily he has a wonderful foster parent. As does doggy in the picture. All that any of this means is: I’m gearing up for another go round on my short story and avoiding my writing by filling in my blog. Why in the heck do you think it is we don’t subscribe to cable? Still, things must be said, life must be lived. Here’s to tomorrow’s beach excursion and edits during meals.

About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI.
This entry was posted in Adult writing, Avoiding My Writing, Book Club, Fiction, Me and Us, Writer's Angst, Writing, Writing Progress and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cooler I Have Been

  1. Whaaaat?? I never knew that part about Alice and the real true creepiness of her childhood. Maybe that’s why I primarily read fiction. I CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH. But can I borrow the book?
    Super cute dog.
    And another really well-written post.

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