I don’t like to talk about my mother on my regular blog, but I think I’m okay to talk about her here, where I’m somewhat anonymous. I’m not sure if any of my family follows this blog. I’ve only ever mentioned it once, a long time ago.
My mother is my only parent, my dad having died when I was young. I’m an only child, so it’s just her and me. And my kids, of course. I grew up with her, my dad, and their two best friends. My mother is the only one left. I used to think she was the lucky one, to have survived everyone else. Now I wonder.
She doesn’t remember anything from one minute to the next. She can ask me the same question every 15 seconds for 10 minutes. She’s beginning to lose her long-term memory as well. So I’ve been patient. But it’s not easy.
Lately she’s taken to accusing me of selling all she owned when I moved her into a retirement home. In actuality, she was there for the whole thing. She went through all her stuff and decided what to keep and what not to, she met the auctioneer who sold all she didn’t want. But now she asks me how I could sell everything she owns–her whole life–without telling her I was going to do it. It makes me feel small, guilty even, though I know I didn’t do anything wrong.
It’s tough watching your parents forget. It’s hard to deal with the forgetfulness, the anger, the bewilderment… And yes, I feel just as guilty for saying that maybe she’s not that lucky for having to go through all this. But life is cruel. I’m bewildered myself.
Have you ever had someone try to teach you something but they won’t let you do it yourself? I find this so annoying. The best way to learn something is to give it a hands-on try. Especially when it comes to computer stuff. It takes me several successful attempts at something to retain most things I do on many programs and sites.
I do understand from the perspective of the teacher that it’s faster to do it yourself, but why are you bothering to teach it if you don’t want the student to learn it? It all comes down to the same thing: if you’re gonna do something, do it right.
what good does it do
this time of year
to remember you, but i do
the gifts i gave you
the birthday of an ex-lover
but what i remember most
are the gifts you gave me
silk skin and song
hard gentle touch and beauty
and oh, how you pushed my limits
just to disappear with a titanium kiss
we drifted apart, didn’t we?
there was no sharp split
just a space, a hole
where you once filled my life
and other parts of me
each year, this time
i think of you and wonder
if you ever think of me
for you were un spectacle,
and in many ways, i was your first
and i will never stop thanking my lucky stars
that you were once my lover
Yesterday I joined the politest Facebook group ever. It’s a genre-specific book-lover’s group; in an older post, one of the members was complaining about the growing number of mistakes she’s been finding of late in e-books. To quote:
The amount of spelling and grammer errors lately are really bugging me. It’s like they don’t even have editors to correct their spelling and grammer or something.
Now I’m not one to make fun of people but it was difficult to stay away from this completely – no one in the group pointed out her glaring irony. Maybe there is hope for humanity after all – or maybe I just fucked that up.
Am I cheating by posting a SoCS post here? Maybe. But you see I’m not ready to come back. Not quite. I did say that I would take a month off from blogging and that month is almost over. What I wasn’t expecting was the freedom to do other things while I wasn’t blogging. At least not this much freedom.
I’m within a hundred pages of the end of my sixth edit on my novel. I’ll go back and work on the first third of it after this and then re-write the first two chapters and I’m done. It’ll be off to publishers and agents.
As much as I want to come back to blogging, I’m hesitant to let go of my focus on my novel. So close to the end… so close to seeing it in print. I’m standing at the precipice, my arms are like helicopter blades spinning – okay helicopters on their sides. Helicopters crashing. That’s not good, is it?
Even as a child I was appalled when I watched a movie in which the language was watered-down. I don’t know that they still do it to the same extent, but I remember hearing “darn” dubbed over the word “damn,” and “heck” over “hell.” I’ve never been able to understand it. One would have to be completely isolated from society not to hear these words used between people in normal conversation. What’s the big deal about hearing them in natural conversations on the screen?
And now they’re apparently talking about removing swear words from ebooks in school libraries by installing a “Clean Reader” app. The app blanks out profanities in a way that imitates the “beep” in a talk show brawl a la Jerry Springer. As though we can’t fill in the blanks ourselves.
What purpose do these things serve? Is a cleaned-up book going to protect our children from the world? Seriously? Have the people who came up with this idea ever been out in public?
Next thing you know they’ll be banning lawn darts! Oh, wait…
I have little patience for a novel or movie that I can see through right from the start. Even a romance, which you know is either going to end up happily ever after or the dog’s gonna die, it’s possible to have such a conflict in the story that there is no way for the reader/viewer to deduce how the resolution will come about.
Even worse is an unbelievable resolution that causes me to throw the book across the room in a fit of frustration. I don’t like it and the cat really hates it.
But you know what’s the worse thing of all? That I’m having such a hard time getting through this challenge. Anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t give up. But honestly, I may not make it through “V,” even though I already have “X” scheduled to go for Tuesday.
A creative writing teacher once told me to be careful about diagnosing my characters. Be sure, she said, that you know exactly what you’re talking about before you do. In that particular case I was writing about a woman with OCD – something I strongly suspect my son to be afflicted with, though he has never been diagnosed.
I can say with every bit of authority that my professor’s advice is valid, having seen an episode of Law and Order: SVU entitled Bullseye, in which they included a character who had “Noonan’s Syndrome.” I was enraged. The show went about explaining the character’s mental retardation by passing it off with a diagnosis the writers quite obviously didn’t research. Yes, some of the people with Noonan’s Syndrome are mentally delayed. My youngest son is one of them. But through the extensive research I did when my son was a baby, in order to find out what his life might be like, I met some fantastic people with university degrees who were inflicted with the same genetic disease, which is most often characterized by its physical symptoms. Not its mental ones.
There are many ways to piss off a reader by not thoroughly researching an element in a work of fiction. The more emotionally driven the subject, the more it will affect the audience.
Have you ever been enraged over an author’s lack of research? I doubt there are many of us who haven’t, at some point or another.