18 August 2004
I just told Michelle on the phone that all my life people have been saying I'm talented, and now I believe them. After all, I think it pretty obviously takes talent to get black bean paste in your eyebrows at 10:30 in the morning.
It was adorable. I promise.
I've been mentally poking at an idea that's Timprov's fault with Mer's...umm...egging on? Mer definitely egged. Anyway, as the days and weeks pass, it looks less and less likely to me that Madeleine L'Engle is going to write me the book I want, which is to say Charles Wallace All Grown Up. (It would have a better title, I hope, but that's the gist of it.) It's also Meg All Grown Up; even though we get that a bit with Poly/Polly's books, Meg is not the focus, nor even a focus. We wants it, precious. And we means to have it, even if not from Madeleine.
Someone Timprov was reading -- I don't have the patience to track it back down again, sorry -- suggested that it was a breach of some kind of reader promise or expectation to have Meg's first job be mommy, to have biologist coming in second. I think that this is a deep and fundamental misunderstanding of the character. Being the mother of a large family is not the result of social pressures for Meg Murry O'Keefe. It's a conscious choice, and a good one for her personality. It is also a large mistake in the context of this series to assume that wiping noses and cooking dinner is all or most of what Meg is doing. (It really, really frustrates me when people assume that parenting is an invalid female choice just because it was an assumed female duty in the past and sometimes still is in the present. Boys are still allowed to be doctors, dammit! Also it frustrates me when people assume that just because you can raise a kid in a mindless way, that means that all parenting is mindless. No. Not hardly. Yarg. Raising a smart, sensitive little twerpie is really hard work, and not only that, it's good work, too. Yarg and harrumph. All right, here ends my mini-rant. Sorry.)
Anyway, so. I can't write in L'Engle's world without permission, but that's all right; it's the basic situation that interests me, the wunderkind as a grown-up, his stubborn intelligent sister, different planets, still in contact...stuff. The serial numbers barely need filing. They kind of slide off. And I'm left with character relationships that really interest me, in a situation that really interests me.
I've been very good about not adding too many novel ideas to the list lately. I think I get the development of this one as a reward. Even though it's not next in line, dammit. Other books get their chance first.
Like Sampo. Right. Onwards.
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Or the last entry.
Or the next one.
Or even send me email.