Thursday, January 1, 2015

Sands of Time

Ok, spoiler alert- I am going to talk about Florida, which means the one who didn't like that, should skip this post.

   My oldest granddaughter seems to be the one to follow in my inky footsteps...she has several stories in the same position as mine- lots of beginnings and endings and then set aside as I decide on middles. We were huddled around the table rolling out Christmas cookies- the first time we've been able to do this due to distance- and the table talk got back to writing. The things that trip a new story for us etc. Places she knows as covered in concrete, I knew as farmland. Where she has always known a 7-11, I remember sitting in the back of a pickup having a picnic. (The ground was too wet) We'll drive by someplace and I'll come out with "That was where" or "We used to _________there.)

I knew this place when it was the wet frontier. Before Disney, when all that property grew oranges, corn and gators and the Merita bread factory was hell on those of us returning from a concert with the munchies-nothing like the aroma of fresh baked bread. She's amused by some of it, and bewildered by other aspects.
   Even though we grew up in the same area, it was and is vastly different. We both could be listed as avid readers at the same age, but the books are so different. I mentioned The Five Little Peppers series and she had never heard of it. I was sort of crushed. It also spoke volumes as to where kids are now. So much is in their face that things which would have sent my generation someplace to hide- they are fine with. 
  I also had that minor epiphany. The prefect person to ask what they liked and disliked in the YA books. Some of it surprised me, some didn't. The top five were:
1. "Authors who go too far one way or the other with sex. It's like, either don't go near it-change your story and stay away from it because if the door closes and we're left to our own devices, your next chapter may not make any sense at all. While you the writer assumed we'd know you had set them up to burn the sheets up, we had envisioned them watching dumb movies and falling asleep. OR its like a health/sex ed lecture. Too much is bad, because its usually in gross and disgusting terms and too little is childish."
2. Characters that you really do not care about. You can tell the author thinks they belong to and we're thinking, "were you stoned?"
3. "When they use a vocabulary that is polar opposite of people today unless you have set it in another time frame and we can tell that. Like, kids don't always use proper English, or full words."
4. When they write a series and in the later books, they forget what they set up in the earlier ones.
5. "When the author has clearly read something that is at the top of the charts, used the same basic story line and then made it like paranormal or something. I mean, write your own story."
When the last of the cookies were out, my daughter and I wandered out back to look over the field. I brought up that I wondered what she would remember of this place we call home. I remembered the way the spanish moss bent on the breeze before a summer storm, the smells along the coast of salt water and suntan lotion or saddle soap and cow dung. I remember when they painted the elephants at the fair...sheep, goats, cows- it washed off but now- you know people would have a fit.  I remember when one of the biggest malls almost wasn't because of a spat between brothers and when the only thing you could see for miles was the citrus tower & now, its all apartments and housing developments. My daughter put it in perspective,
   "She'll remember riding on the back of paw-paw's motorcycle around the field, you standing patiently listening to her dad's rambling on about how we took an edible weeds class and the one tasted like pepper and then told him, "You know, the dogs probably peed on that" as he took a bite to prove his point, (ok, I did snicker)
and making cookies today and having a discussion with you that was give and take." Sands of time through our own hour glass. I can't wait for her to get to those middles so I can read them. 
 This will be my last post, I do not foresee being in Michigan anytime soon, and then I have a few other reasons. I wish y'all well and make a great cheerleader so...grab my email from the loop and let me know when you have news etc- its easy- its my name.

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