Digging in to write, write, write this morning. Warming up the fingers with my first blog post of 2010. So much swirling in my brain this morning. Two week vacation has come and gone in a snap: our Lost Pines jaunt, a few movies - in theaters and rented (Inglorious Basterds, Up in The Air, The Hangover... possibly Sherlock Holmes today if I can swing it - and if you want just pure laughter, The Hangover is hysterical), and lots and lots of writing, although many more words to go on the WIP. Almost done with Cleaving and also Lauren Bjorkman's love. My Invented Life. Roz will linger in my head for a long while. Her smart mouth often gets the better of her and I can definitely relate to that. My high school and junior high self can definitely relate to her relentless search for someone to love.
I know this for a fact because I still have the diary I kept in junior high/the beginning of high school. (I was a lazy diarist, so one diary sufficed for like 3 years!) Any time I need to remind myself of the geek girl that lies within (this is not too often since even now she leaps out fairly frequently and shoves her witty foot in her mouth), I need only flip through pages to find such scintillating prose as this nugget from January 10th when I was in 7th grade: "I don't know what to make of it. Today David wore a blue sweater and so did I." This was followed about a lengthy purple-inked set of musings about whether our love was fated to be, whether I should send him a Valentine (This was January, people! I was already obsessing over Valentines! How did I even manage to make it to adulthood?) and about what color - red? - I should wear the next day to test my hypothesis that the universe wanted David and me to be together 4-ever.
Today as I get back to work, I'm still thinking about love. Anne and Ethan love to be specific although that's all I'm saying about that right now. Anne's way cooler than I ever was at her age but no one's secure when it comes to putting their heart on the line. And Ethan may have a lot more history than she does, but I think when it comes to love, we're all perpetual novices. We never learn our lessons and certainly old E is an expert at that!
In case you're wondering, I have no idea what became of 7th grade David. He did not become the love of my life or even of my 7th grade year. Turns out that sweater color does not actually predict romantic potential. By March I was - if Mr. Diary is correct - crushing on someone else, fickle girl that I was.
Interestingly, writing love is to some extent no easier than living it. Characters don't always do what you want them to (yes, this is true!). They make stupid mistakes and dilly dally around trying to figure out their hearts. I try to corral them. They escape. I whip them back into shape. They forget. Sometimes they don't know what the hell they're doing. Sometimes neither do I.
So here's to love in the new year. And to Anne and Ethan and wherever they're headed. I'll let you know as soon as I can.
In the meantime, anyone else want to fess up with stories of junior high crushes? C'mon people, I know you've got some stories!
Til next time...
And this month, btw, I'll also be highlighting my Class of 2k10 mentees - co-presidents Judith Graves and Kitty Keswick. So watch for that!