Vacation, All I Ever Wanted?

July 23, 2010

The blog has been quiet for a while and it will remain so at least another week, because I’m so busy wri–no, wait a minute, I’m not writing. I’m on vacation, not doing much of anything constructive though I tell myself I’m in a hunting and gathering stage for the next project whatever it is, which is pretty much what I always tell myself when I’m not actually getting any work done.

I’m also still mulling over necessary revisions, especially the suggestion from an editor friend of mine that I include more of my parents in the book. “They were around, right?” she asked. Yes, of course they were but as I write in My Brief History of Sex Education, they took on the characteristics of adults in all those Peanuts holiday specials I used to watch on TV.

My parents were there for me and I could depend on them without reservation, but I don’t really recall what they looked like, their voices were garbled and indistinct, and I barely remember a word they said. Though they weren’t absent in real life, I think for the purposes of the book I decided to take the fairy tale approach (kill the parents or at the very least the mother, so the main character can be fierce and independent and do her own thing). I’m reminded of this setup almost every time my daughter begins a book and tells me, “Hey Mom, guess what? They killed the mom off in the beginning again–now everyone gets to have fun!” Delightful.

But I admit that my parents are conspicuously absent from my book, My Brief History of Sex Education, even though they weren’t absent in real life. So as I enjoy my vacation with my own kids, knowing full well that whenever I talk to them they are thinking to themselves,”I see your lips moving, Mom, but I have no idea what you’re saying,” as if our conversation were being held underwater or across a vast, wide chasm complete with dramatic hand gestures that usually do more to confuse than clarify, I will do my best to remember how my own parents involved themselves in my life way back when, in those years I rarely paid them any attention.

In the meantime, a bit of news that’s uplifting, especially when my pen has been temporarily put down. A short essay of mine, “Fast Forward” was just published in You Must Be This Tall to Ride, an online journal of stories about childhood and adolescence. It originally appeared in this blog so you may have read it already, but for those of you who haven’t here’s the link.


2 Responses to “Vacation, All I Ever Wanted?”

  1. Fuse said

    At least you had a chance to get away from your parents when you went to school each day. Some of us had a parent “in the building” from first grade right through graduation!

    • Yep, can’t argue with that. My mom worked at the high school up until the year my brother entered 6th grade. I don’t think she wanted to be there with us either. But that can be your memoir, no? A parent around every corner. . .

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