Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I Am

More Inspiration from Mella and Owlhaven. Changed things a tad to make them fit


I am the baby born in Worcester
To hippies and ministers
Who had visions of a redhaired actress before she was born,
And were right.

I am the child who played Narnia and and jungle explorers and spies
Who loved streams and rocks and baby goats
Who stored her grandmother’s jewelry in her treasure box
Who dreamed of stardom and never thought she would not want it.

I am the teenager who sat by herself and hated everyone else.
Who moved away and changed what she was called
And made actual friends and wore painted overalls
And loved Shakespeare and parties.

Who set her prom table on fire
And ran naked through the snow on a dare
Who dreamed of playing Velma Kelley and knew she would direct
The Crucible.

I am the woman who stopped taking quiet for granted,
Who got married young, after declaring she would not get married

Who loves her family and friends and
Finally not feeling afraid all the time.

I am the mother who loves wrestling on the floor with her baby
And goes crazy if her husband pauses for more than
Five seconds between words
And whose moments of perfect bliss come
When her son looks at her and says a new word.
Yum. Hug. Car.

I am the writer who loves reading and avoids the phone
And who wants to see her books on a shelf
Alongside the authors she admires.

I am the woman who talks too much and makes up songs
And really wants a bright green pair of Chuck Taylors.

I am the person who planned her husband’s funeral
And then didn’t need to have it.

I am the woman who still loves the ice cream truck and
Saturday morning cartoons
But never sugary cereals.

Who still longs to learn to play the drums just like John Bonham.

I am the person who dreams of France and playing Lady Macbeth
And is grateful for
Every day she wakes up next to her Beloved
And who hopes her son will grow to be happy, healthy and
Fully aware that
He is perfectly loved.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Am From

Mella gave me the idea, and Floyd gave me the template.


I am from the baby cereal crunching under my slippers, the teething rings in the dish rack, and the sexy underwear rarely worn.

I am from the heart shaped paperweight given to my husband from my baby sister when we feared he was dying. From the iBook that holds my stories and the well worn, well washed, well loved Wedding Quilt.

I am from the daisies he picked for me the night we met and the lilac bushes out back.

I am from reading in the wee hours before school and red hair, from Norma Carlson and Eltrice Bentley and Margaret Young.

I am from the Depressed and the Intuitive.

From Jesus Loves Me and so does Dad.

I am from a God that loves all, regardless of the kind of life we have lived. A God who forgives all, and forgets. A God who has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind.

I'm from Worcester and Sweden and Finland and Scotland, salmon on Christmas Eve and thick, dark beer.

From the old man who played for the Red Sox farm team, from his granddaughters who know more about baseball than anyone else, and who have kissed Steven Tyler.

I am from snapshots of infants, of children, of college students, brides and grooms all over the walls, notebooks filled with half finished thoughts and lists of life wishes spilling out the shelves and books stacked higher than we can reach, up to the ceiling.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Waking Up

When Heather is at home his coughing and the smell of his first morning cigarette wake her. He'll be in the kitchen, but in their bedroom across the house she can hear him coughing. In their bedroom that seems to have a film of nicotine on every surface, even thought she got him to stop smoking there a year ago. Her brain won’t register the headache she had when she went to sleep, and still has when she gets up.

In The Aunts House, Heather wakes up without the headache. This is when she recalls it, in its absence. She pushes her hair from her eyes and blinks at the sun filtering through the curtains. She can hear The Aunts downstairs, clinking dishes, murmured conversation. A teakettle whistles.

She stretches herself long, until she hears little cracking sounds, then curls into a ball. She pulls the quilt over her head, and lets the light shining through make her a hazy lavender world. Where everything smells good and is natural and pleasant.

This is why she comes here every summer. To "take care" of her old Aunts, who are doing just fine on their own. She comes for the feeling of lightness and simple happiness. She comes for the way she feels when she wakes up.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Knocking Around My Head

This is frustrating.

I can't figure out if it's laziness or...ah, screw it. It's laziness.

I didn't write over the Holidays because I was so incredibly busy (Husband and I hosted 3 big parties between December 22nd and New Year's Eve). I haven't written anything in the last week because I have told myelf that I am "recovering" from the Holidays.

So here it is, a week into 2007 and I use what precious little spare time I get to play mind numbing online games.

I'm not a writer, I'm a lazy housewife! Augh, and I've been in sweatpants all day!

It's not that I can't think of anything to work on. I have so much bouncing around my head these days it's hard to keep track. Of course, it would help if I actually took some notes.

Okay. Notes.

Do something with "Jeeves & Woosters". Develop Deirdre Costello into an actual character, work on her language, back story, how she met Dahlia Travers and therefore Bertie.

Deirdre Costello’s father was an Irish American business owner. Working class, came to wealth later in his life. Her mother was English. County. As a girl, her mother went to school with Dahlia Travers (connection). Her mother died when she was small, and her father died within the last year. She’s decided to leave Boston for good, and THAT is how she has ended up at Brinkley.

She and Bertie have a lot in common as to tastes. She likes being out late and sleeping in. She like martinis and horse races. She is not a good girl as far as Bertie’s Aunt Agatha is concerned. She’s fantastic as far as Aunt Dahlia is concerned.

Idea: Dahlia calling Bertie with good news: “Tom Costello’s kicked it and Deirdre’s got the money!”

Bertie Eh Whats.

“Elizabeth Wight’s daughter. She’s got her old man’s money and she’s coming to Brinkley. Get your Nannie to pack your bags and come down here to entertain the girl!”

She’s lazy, like Bertie, but not in a bad way. She’s just never had to work, and is happy with that. She’s not as spitfire as Dahlia - all the women Bertie comes across are either Dahlias or Agathas minus thirty years. She’s educated, but untrained. In temperament, she’s a lot like Jeeves. She’s smart, with a dry sense of humor. She’s very calm, usually, but (unlike what we see of Jeeves) she does laugh.

She likes Bertie because, above all, he is sweet. He’s not smart, but he’s generous and pleasant and fun and he makes her laugh. She is comfortable around him, and he is surprisingly comfortable around her.

When she thinks there relationship may develop into something seriously romantic, she goes to Jeeves.

“Mrs. Travers says that whenever something needs solving, you’re the man to see.”

“Indeed, Miss?”

“Indeed, Jeeves. I’ve seen you with Bertie. I know how it is. You’ve got the reins and I need you to use them.”

Jeeves is the most English thing I’ve seen since I came here. He manages to be both delicate and masculine. I suppose that is what the English look for in gentlemen for their gentlemen.

“If I may have a trifle more information, please, Miss?”

Deep breath. “I think Mister Wooster is going to ask me to marry him.”

Ever discreet, Silent Jeeves.

“Jeeves...if he tells you...or if he has already mentioned must dissuade him.”

This got raised eyebrows.

“I’m not cut out for a gentleman’s wife. Bertie won’t see that, he just sees that we have fun and talk and laugh about things. But a wife, Jeeves...wives have to be...well...they do things. I mean, Lady Sidcup runs charities and oversees school treats and Mrs. Pinker does good works with the church and at home they decorate and dress their husband’s as if they were great big dolls and I can’t do any of that. I like clubs until twelve and breakfast at ten and I’m not at all good at improving anything. Bertie’s so sweet, Jeeves, and he’s so generous and adorably dim and impractical. I wouldn’t know how to improve him. I don’t think I could. You see, Jeeves? You love him, too. He deserves a good wife.”

Jeeves stared at me with an unfathomable expression. “If I may say so, Miss Costello,” he said slowly “should Mister Wooster propose matrimony, you do have the option of refusal.”

I wish I could have looked him in the eye when I said “I couldn’t do it. If Bertie was actually in front of me asking me to marry him, I know my heart would fail me and I’d say yes.”

Jeeves deftly removed my coat from the hook, and said to me slowly and calmly “You may be absolutely certain, Miss, that I always act in Mister Wooster’s best interests.”

As I passed him going out the door, he said by way of a goodbye “I shall see to it that when he proposes, it will be to the correct woman.” . Then he closes the door, and I made my way to the elevator. I didn’t start to cry until I got to the ground floor. I did the right thing. Jeeves was going to do what’s best.

Now, readers know that it’s in Jeeve’s best interests for Wooster to stay unmarried, so he can keep running his “master"s life. After this meeting, though, Jeeves realizes that this is exactly what everyone needs. Bertie and Deirdre need love and each other, and this particular woman won’t want to step on his toes at all. So he subtly encourages Bertie in Deirdre’s favor, Bertie p’s the q, Deirdre says yes, ad they all live happily ever after, with Jeeves running Bertie’s life, and Bertie sharing it with his perfect counterpart.

Okay, so maybe I have a little more than notes.

Can I do this, though? They are Jeeves and Wooster...icons! Who the hell am I other than another fan of the works to try and continue where Wodehouse left off? How many other J&W lovers do you think have done this?

i really don’t want to know. Hundreds, I am sure.

So that’s one thing slamming around the old skull. I still have a crap load of Agatha Christie decon. that I want to do. Breaking down her stock characters into categories, pulling out the same plots and analyzing why, even when she rehashed the same old stuff (unabashedly) we lick it up!

Also, that fiction of the old women in Maine. Here’s what goes down. Heather married a guy who is a parasite. He’s not smart, creative, caring. He’s lazy, selfish, wasteful, demanding, overbearing and unfair. He’s never physically violent, he’s never even verbally abusive. He just has absolutely nothing good to offer her, or the world.

So her aunt calmly sticks a steak knife into him.


All that and my son’s First Birthday Party to plan. My baby is becoming a toddler. There’s something in that, I just can’t go into it emotionally now.

I think...I hope that getting some of this up on the b.sphere will help me organize my head. A little. Enough to do some actual work.