Write it Down, Sherlock

As I scrub whatevers at the kitchen sink, thinking about Hadley Richardson because I’m reading The Paris Wife, mostly thinking how wrong the book’s cover is considering its subject, I’m wondering  if I’ll ever have a book cover of my own to ponder, quickly amending the if to when, ex-ing out the wondering and creating a new sentence of positive affirmation while slamming the window open to yell at Al the cat about to step off the curb and cross the street for mysterious catly purposes. Turning him around with my tone, watching him slink back into the geraniums, I think about how good OJ tastes when you have a headcold as long as the OJ is cold and I remember a tiny awful headline I saw at CNN.com, a site I’ve sworn off in an effort to keep bad news that is completely out of my control out of my life (or is bad news in some kind of control because I keep it out of my life), a headline stating OJ Simpson is, what, trying to get out of jail and I sneeze and recall taking my son to meet the horse I ride and I was so shocked because he wasn’t scared of this giant animal’s snorty affection, and I remember standing outside the ring while my son climbed up the judge’s chair because of course he wanted to sit in it, a weird, tall chair like that is a beacon to children and my hands hovered around him as he climbed and I kept turning my head slightly, for seconds, to watch the rider in the ring canter a beautiful Arabian over jump after jump after jump and each time her a** hit the saddle it wasn’t good and I hoped to god my a** didn’t look like that when it hit the saddle and I resolved to get my own a** in line with the rest of my posture, when riding, and as I soap another whatever I realize the only thing I envy the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is the size of their closets–not the size of their a***s and not what’s in their closets, but the size of their closets and, anyway, like CNN.com, all Housewives are banned from my Hulu experience as I focus on novels and poetry and raising a child in a valley of 105 degree heat in May.  I sneeze and a poem enters my head—a jaunty rhyming quatrain, rhyming, for me, usually so forced it can’t possibly see the light of any personal archives and this is what came to me:

Right! Blank. Gone, because I didn’t write it down at the time I was soaping all those whatevers.

Lesson learned.


About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI. pbwrites.wordpress.com
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7 Responses to Write it Down, Sherlock

  1. Susan says:

    I like the Paris wife very much. Easy and good-visual reading. I agree about the cover being off kilter. Learning about Hadley was fascinating – I had no idea, as my Hemingway knowledge extends only to the man himself. Shame on me. Love the name Hadley.

    • PB Rippey says:

      Hadley is a wonderful name. I’m still thinking about the book, so obviously it made an impression. I wish she’d been able to give her piano concert.

  2. Scrubbing at the kitchen sink, hanging clothes on the line – these are fabulous spots to start visualising what that cover might look like. You’re asking yourself the wrong questions, not if or when, but what does it look like, that will move you closer to realising it.

    I was left a little deceived by The Paris Wife, though I enjoyed reading all of it, because I wanted to know more about her than just those four short years and the implication that her life was only of interest to us because she spent them with Hemingway. I was shocked when it it ended! I blamed it on the rising cult of the celebrity yet love that today there are publishers such as Persephone Books bringing back some of those lost female voices from the past decade, whose lives were and continue to be of interest, whether true or fictitious.

    You can read my review of The Paris Wife here.

    • PB Rippey says:

      Yes, visualization is very important. Thanks for the reminder, Claire. I agree with you on TPW. I had to research the rest of Hadley’s life online in order to gain relief and closure! Many details I did enjoy, such as what she did with herself all day while EH was off writing, her increasing dependence on him instead of relishing her own independence, that hike over the pass that strengthened her, the crushing loss and responsibility for the theft of the case—I agree it’s worth reading.

  3. Beth Hull says:

    If only our brains came with TiVo.

Words do not escape you

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