Yesterday was one of those really happy joyful days for me. Every once in a while my whole body and spirit becomes infused with this wonderful bubbling It’s great to be alive feeling. I wanted to write another poem I felt so good. But I didn’t have time, because my book group was coming over, so I contented myself with listening to Van Morrison while working in the kitchen. Can’t believe I’m confessing this, but I danced all day. Right there in the kitchen.
I was having all kinds of ideas, too, not just about writing poems, but about how to finish the WIP, and what to do after that. My clear plan was to quit writing novels that nobody buys and change my whole website around to talking books by other writers I admire. I even thought of the name “Constant Reader.” Somebody has to have that name for a book review site already. Then I planned out how I could talk to the dean at my college about reinvigorating the curriculum with new classes that I would be happy to devise and teach. One was “From the Beats to the Beatles: Social Culture and Literature in 1950-1980 America.” Does’t that sound like a fun class?
When my book group got here, I went into a long rapture about how I love my job right now. To their credit, nobody asked to take my temperature. We just had a really good book group, the kind where everyone shares what’s on their minds and hearts and then later, after our personal stories have been exhausted and put to bed, we discussed the book. And after that we sang a little bit. We do that sometimes, just spontaneously. Somehow we got on a kick of remembering songs about Jesus from the 70s, and we’d shout out whatever lyrics we could remember.
I love to sing, but I have no talent for it. My friends forgive me for this, becasue I usually remember the words. I’m a word person, after all. The book discussion, once we got around to it, was good too.
The God of Animals is a debut novel by Aryn Kyle and we all admired parts of it and wondered about other parts and I said that the 12 year old narrator just seemed way too mature for her years. When I was 12, I had my unhappy moments, even moments of despair, but I don’t remember thinking so deeply about the whys and hows. Life just WAS. Then Micki brought up the excellent point (Micki always brings up excellent points) that it might be a generational thing, that Kyle’s young life, and so point of view, is different than mine because kids are exposed to so much more these days, they know more, they see more. I have such smart, interesting friends. How could I not love my life?!
But actually, I’m smart too, because at the end of the book, there’s a Q & A with the author, and she admitted that the concerns she put into her 12 year old protagonist’s head were really things she wrestled with in her 20s. (I knew it!) That made me wonder why she didn’t make Alice older. But then it would have changed the whole story, which is really good coming of age story. I will read her next book, for sure, because this woman can write. The plot is a little up and down, a bit gothic horror, a bit contemporary teen angst, and a bit Cinderella. It’s set on a rural horse farm–as Ann pointed out, the horse metaphors were heartbreakingly beautiful.
Now I have to get ready for school and maybe it’s a holdover from yesterday but I am actually looking forward to it! I think I will be ready to dive back into the WIP tomorrow.