No school. That’s the good news. The bad news is I woke up at 4 are-you-kidding a.m. I was almost on speaking terms with Ben yesterday because I got up at 5:30 am and thought life would become normal again. Mr. Franklin, you are still on my low list. And here I am up bright and early and I can think of nothing to do except work on my “novel.”
Now that I have time to start my novel I suppose I should decide what my novel is going to be about. I wonder if coming up with things to write about is tough to do? I’ve never thought about it before. I never really have to since school assignments come with prescribed topics. Dad writes a lot of different articles and he has to start somewhere. I’d ask him about how to get ideas for writing, but he’s gone. Again.
Last night Mom drove him to the airport and he took off to go on location to work on some story assignment. That’s no big deal because he often does that. I’m used to him coming and going. The apartment seems to diminish in personality when he goes. I think of Dad as the laughter and Mom as the heartbeat. Dad keeps things positive and happy, while Mom keeps things running. A person can live without laughing. It’s not as fun though. When Dad gets back I feel a pent-up sigh of tension release and there is balance once again in our lives.
Mean thoughts again. Sometimes I wish it were Mom who went on assignments so Dad and could hang out. Dad and I on get snippets of time together and I absolutely treasure them. Mom, on the other hand, is always here, but she isn’t in so many ways. For one thing, she is very focused when she works and tends to tune everything else out around her. She doesn’t have any set schedule and when it’s only the two of us I end up fending for myself when it comes to meals and laundry. I’m not complaining, okay, maybe a little. She doesn’t totally zombie out. She does some cooking and does ask how I’m doing here and there. She’s the heartbeat of the house, so I know she going to keep things going. And yet there is no spark in the house without Dad. Mom will sometimes take off to preview the stuff she’s writing about for the current catalog she is working on. Occasionally she comes back with some of the extras, like a dress, scarf, or even jewelry. She says it’s a perk from her work. Most of the stuff is not my style. I usually accept it anyway. Mom might bring something home that I really like one of these days, and if I remain nice about accepting the perk specials now, I hope to get something really decent one day. False politeness, I know.
I can tell Mom is not happy about Dad leaving. She’s okay about his writing trips, that’s not the problem. Usually it’s a quiet farewell, but last night I detected distress in her conversation with him when he left, something about “We had plans” in Mom’s almost-anger tone. I retreated to my room and ear-budded. I don’t need to know the extent of my parent’s disagreements.
Being an only, I don’t have to deal with sharing my parents with other sibs. With just the three of us any stress is very noticeable. My parents don’t bicker much, which I appreciate. I tend not to argue with my parents. We have misunderstandings now and then, nothing that holds over. I have to admit I try harder to get along with Mom when Dad is gone. I do this by avoiding her. Not nice, yet you gotta do what you gotta do to maintain the feng shui about the place. Dad and his contribution of smile and relaxedness are gone for a week and I can feel Mom’s pouting through my closed bedroom door. I am not venturing out anytime soon. I will hole up in my room and try to figure out this novel.
Okay, I want to write something that people will read. That’s a no-brainer. I need a story idea that is popular but different. Yeah, no problem. I’m sure that is what every writer hopes to do with his or her novel. The problem is what is popular is not what I like to read. And it’s hard to write about stuff that I wouldn’t read. Vampires, werewolves, zombies all give me nightmares. Even if I turn them into cute high school guys who sparkle. Mean girl stories drive me crazy. I don’t get science fiction, all that other planet, other dimension stuff doesn’t work for me. I do like parallel worlds.
Last month I found this great DVD series set at the library about a modern woman who lived in London and obsessed over Pride and Prejudice. The obsession grew to the point she opened a portal into the novel. One night Elizabeth Bennett popped into the woman’s world through this odd door in the bathroom. She and Lizzie traded places for a while and the modern London woman nearly ruined P&P with all her interfering. That’s the kind of book I would want to write. What book would I want to visit? Maybe I could do this switch thing as my novel. It has possibilities.
Forget it, I’m going back to bed. Maybe I can fake out my sleeping pattern and make my body believe it’s afternoon and I’m taking my after-school siesta
- Day Four: Moving Around Blues (veranano.wordpress.com)
- Day Three: Attention Defeated Disorder (veranano.wordpress.com)
- Strategies to Make You Finish That Bloody Novel (io9.com)