Monday, June 29, 2009
The best part, for me, was talking with the children afterwards about these two sisters, who lived two such different lives, one transient and lost to the "ordinary" world, the other cleaving to it. Which sister would you rather be? I asked them, and Apple-Apple and Albus knew immediately they'd rather live the life of the ordinary sister, who likely grew to marry and have children and a house. But then Apple-Apple pushed her thinking further. She observed that if she were reading a book about someone, she'd rather it be about someone like the sister whose life was sadder and unusual. In essence, she understood the nature of fiction-writing/reading: that we end up writing/reading lives we wouldn't want to live, in order to illuminate the lives we do.
Can I give you the final sentence? I don't know whether it will have as much meaning out of context, but it's so beautiful, it called out (to me) to be experienced again and again: "No one watching this woman smear her initials in the steam on her water glass with her first finger, or slip cellophane packets of oyster crackers into her handbag for the sea gulls, could know how her thoughts are thronged by our absence, or know how she does not watch, does not listen, does not wait, does not hope, and always for me and Silvie." The power is in that final rhythmic chant-like repetition of phrases that in denying, finally, uphold. And always.
I am now left with that empty, lost feeling after finishing a truly extraordinary book. Hard to know where to go next. But it's redeemed the novel for me, as a form to seek out and enjoy.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
1 cup lard (or butter; or peanut butter), creamed with 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar (Bonnie uses 2 cups). Add in 2 eggs beaten with 1 teaspoon vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together 1 and 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Combine with wet ingredients. Then using your very strongest arm, add in 3 cups of oats, and 1 cup of smarties or other bright coloured round candy, or chocolate chips. I ended up kneading the oats and smarties into the stiff batter. Place by tablespoons onto tray. Bake at 375 for ... well, here is where the controversy sets in. 8 minutes if you want them gooey and soft, like Bonnie makes them (remove from the oven before they look remotely baked). I baked them 10 minutes and they were much harder, but transportable, and still soft on the inside. But not like Bonnie's, I was informed by Nina, who tested them in our backyard yesterday.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tonight's supper plot: DIY taco salad (ie. unmixed for those whose individual foods Must Never Touch; not to mention to accomodate our variety of intense food preferences and abhorrences. Tomatoes! Gak!).
Right now, I'm sitting here obsessively checking the weather radar, trying to determine, with my imaginary PhD in forecasting, which part of this massive summer storm is going to hit us, and when, and whether or not it will arrive with the promised golf-ball-sized hail (please, no!). I was so looking forward to picking the big kids up from their Last Day of School, strolling as always; but have Kevin on alert (he's got the vehicle today). If I press the panic button, he will meet them in my stead. I'm still hopeful despite rumble, rumble, eerie black sky.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
It is lovely news indeed, both to be anticipating publication, and to hear from an editor that she is reading these stories as I have written and intended them.
Second, I feel myself coming around toward a decision (how's that for muddling) about this coming year (by which I mean this coming school year, since that's when the new year really starts for those of us who are parents). I am seriously entertaining the idea of babysitting another child, close in age to CJ, two days a week. That would mean I wouldn't be doula'ing, which has given me pause; but this most recent doula experience (which I didn't blog about) really clarified the difficulties of committing to that work at this time in my life ... and more importantly at this time in my children's lives. Look at that kid up there. He's 14 months, active, energetic, busy, animated, bursting with New, open like a sponge to learning, and I have the opportunity to stay home and share this time with him. As I'm envisioning it right now, I will commit to two full days at home, very child-focussed; and at least one full day of writing; and one more day when I'll exchange childcare with a friend. That will leave one day free and unscheduled. I also plan to take one night class this fall toward the eventual re-education plan.
Life will be easier and I'll feel less muddled, less distracted, when I commit. But I take commitment pretty seriously, which is why I want to be certain, gut and heart.