Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday, Sunday

. . . happens to be my favorite day of the week. I love the long afternoon which always carries the hope of a nap (but rarely is the hope fulfilled) and, if not, at least an hour of reading to my kids. Right now I’m reading Redwall to the little guys (which they would NEVER sit still for if it hadn’t have been for the cartoon of it that they have seen--yes, this is an example of the boob-tube motivating readers and I’m not complaining) and The Summer of My German Soldier to the older guys. The older guys and I have been on a WWII streak that began with The Hiding Place and continued with a little non-fiction book about Pearl Harbor. I’ll either hit To Kill a Mockingbird next or a Shakespeare play, depending on whether The Little Theater pulls off a Shakespeare play in the fall as scheduled.

Anyway, today was a pretty good day, despite the following:

1. I am not feeling well physically today. Enough said about that.

2. I had to teach a particularly challenging topic in RS today. The title was something like “Comfort at the Loss of Loved One.” Yikes! What to say about that? It was a very poorly (I thought) assembled collection of sayings of Joseph Smith at various funerals. The gist of them all could be summed up like this: “People die. There is life after death, so try not to be too sad about it and trust the Lord!” How do you make a lesson out of that without resorting to platitudes? I got through it by pawning it off on others. Our ward is full of people who have experienced very devastating losses (one reason why I felt unqualified to teach THEM anything), so I just asked two of them to speak. It took almost the entire time and they were MARVELOUS. I gave them some good questions to answer, but I didn’t realize until it was over what a hard task I had given to one of them. I asked her to speak on “Advice for someone going through it now, and advice for friends of someone going through it on what to say or do.” I hadn’t realized that she would be speaking to the VERY PEOPLE who had said the right and wrong things to her during her hard time. How hard for her! She did great, though.

3. We finally figured out why the food room still smelled funny even though I had thrown out the rotten potatoes. We have some sort of a leak (either the water main or a crack in the foundation) that has resulted in a LOT of water on the carpet, which has soaked many cardboard boxes and grown a beautiful colony of fragrant mold in the corner. Sigh.

4. I am being haunted by the green monster. My friend Kristi has written the beginning of what’s going to be a blockbuster, and editors and agents are falling all over her. I’m telling you, folks, she’s the next Stephenie Meyer. Remember her name (Kristi Stevens) because you’ll be able to say you knew someone (me) who Knew Her When. (I hope she doesn’t forget all us little people.) Anyway, her book, as I keep implying, is really good. She deserves all the attention she’s about to get. And I’m wallowing in self-pity because I don’t have her talent.

“Look,” I tell myself. “You could have gone your whole life without knowing Kristi. Knowing her doesn’t make you any less likely to write a good book, or succeed with your writing, or have a satisfying life. The fact that she is immensely talented has nothing to do with whether or not you are.”

“True, true,” I respond, and then glumly eat worms.

Don’t worry, though. I will rally. After all, I’ve been in this writing group with all these amazingly talented and successful women for a year or so now, and my life has only been better because of it. It’s a nice thing to be surrounded by so much success. It’s got to rub off, right? Meanwhile, I like knowing these fascinating people. (When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a Mouseketeer. Until one time I realized that it would be even COOLER to be the BEST FRIEND of a Mouseketeer. Because that means that THEY chose ME to hang with.) So maybe I can relax and just enjoy being the one who knew everyone before they got famous—maybe, even, the one who corrected that terrible dangling modifier in chapter five. Then they’ll dedicate their books to me (right guys?).

Meanwhile I’ll keep plugging along on my little manuscripts.

Have a nice week!


Marj said...


You will still remember my name when YOU are famous, right?

Melinda said...


You are a great writer. I was thrilled when you wanted to critique with ME.

Don't let the dark side take you down.

Your gifts of writing are too important to all of us.