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Friday Five

1. At the end of a very unstructured, first-days-out-of-school week, I have remembered once again that I don't DO unstructured well. My son is slightly better at it, but even he is ready for something to happen. Today, I called friends & got him to email and we will be sociable and productive next week. Maybe even this weekend.

2. I'm reading Skunk Girl, by Sheba Karim. Somebody out here recommended it, and I owe you a thanks. This is a wonderfully written, really fun book. It's about being Pakistani-American in small-town America, but it's not just about that--Karim has hooked into the universal teen girl problems with a really nice balance of pain and humor. And she has picked wonderfully specific details to show Nina's struggles with not fitting in, with trying to make her parents happy, with her own mixed feelings about who she is. This is not vague angst, but a strong, concrete world. Lovely.

3. I had a great writing session with friends today. I realized the other day that I'm not only not happy with the voice of my WIP, I'm actively unhappy with it. Enough so that it was making the actual writing I was doing...unpleasant. Today, I took a chance and started the next scene in a different tense--I switched from first person, present to third person, past. You tell me why my sentences got shorter and less run-on, randomy. You tell me why I ended up with probably twice as much white space on these pages as I've been getting on the others. You tell me why the words came out faster, why I could write scenes instead of feeling the need to stick in big, bracketed questions for later.] This is why, if I could have done math, I might have been a neurologist. Our brains are so beautifully mysterious. When they're not driving us crazy.

4. This weekend, we start cleaning my son's room. Actually, cleaning out would be a better description. He has the most storage space of any room in the house, which--on the one hand-- is very nice for him (and me, when I want him to just do a quick clean-up), but which--on the other hand--does lead to, shall we say...collecting. It is time to shovel out the stuff that's sat on a shelf for two or three years gathering dust. It's the kind of pile you just can't, with any kindness, send the kid in to do alone. Besides, extra hands are needed to hold the trash bag open.

I predict loud music wil be needed. My son suggests The Doors.

5. What movie should we see this weekend? Sandra Bullock's The Proposal just opened in town, but--even not knowing what it's about--I'm guessing I can't get my son on board for it. The Taking of Pelham something-something-something looks more like his & husband's thing, but I want to wait to hear what the R rating is about, from someone who's gone. My son keeps asking about Land of the Lost, but Will Ferrell and me...meh. Probably we'll settle on Night at the Smithsonian, because it's on its way out. Any recommendations?

Happy weekend, everyone. And tell me, during summer vacation, how is that different than, say...Wednesday? :)

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
amygreenfield
Jun. 20th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
Happy weekend, you! Even if it is during vacation.

Re #3: Lovely that 3rd person past is working for you! I've had the same thing happen -- though making the opposite change has also worked with other manuscripts. Go figure. Every piece has a life of its own!
beckylevine
Jun. 20th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
Who knows what'll work. I just try and go with it! :)
kellyrfineman
Jun. 20th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC)
I hear Land of the Lost stinks. Sandra Bullock's movie might work IF you pitch it as Ryan Reynolds's movie.
beckylevine
Jun. 20th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
I don't think he even knows who Ryan Reynolds is. I don't! I think I'm saving The Proposal for a dad-and-me date night!
ext_158080
Jun. 20th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC)
Land of the Lost got thumbs down from my husband...and he likes Will Ferrell. You've already seen Up! so I don't think there's anything else worth seeing this weekend :(

And yeah, in the summer, every day is the weekend. No wonder it's so hard to be structured!
beckylevine
Jun. 20th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Well, if someone who likes Will Ferrell didn't like the movie, that's good enough for me! My husband heard a bad review of The Taking of Pelham, and I thought he'd want to see it, so...yeah, probably Ben Stiller & animated dinosaurs! :)
jeannineatkins
Jun. 20th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC)
Fabulous news on #3!!!

And good luck with the unstructure... and movie. We still haven't gotten out to UP, so have that to look forward to.
beckylevine
Jun. 20th, 2009 03:38 pm (UTC)
#3 was a HUGE relief. Weird, but a relief! I think you'll really like UP! :)
pjhoover
Jun. 20th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
The writing time sounds fabulous, and wow! What a switch. To 3rd person past from 1st person present. Very cool!
beckylevine
Jun. 20th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
Actually, PJ, I went the other way. I was playing with 1st person present & in some ways liking it, but not liking the voice that was coming out. So now I'm back to the old traditional for a while!

Have a great trip to Washington!
(Deleted comment)
beckylevine
Jun. 21st, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)
One part chemistry/one part magic. That's my guess. :)
hipwritermama
Jun. 21st, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Your son is very cool if he lets you not only into his room, but lets you touch his things and help clean it out. Wait a minute. I should also add, you're a wonderful mom since you raised a son so he trusts you.
beckylevine
Jun. 21st, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
I guess...not sure it's trust, or rather the choice between me helping or telling him to do it himself. :) No, we're doing pretty well this summer--no homework is apparently a huge stress-reliever!
beckylevine
Jun. 21st, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
And thanks, Vivian!
ext_172625
Jun. 22nd, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
Well, did the room get clean? My youngest was the ultimate slob about his room. I think he basically cleaned with a shovel. After he moved out, we cleaned everything thoroughly and now his room is my office. It's funny though, whenever he comes for a visit and needs to change, I always find his clothes on the floor of my office.

What movie did you see? I haven't seen one at the theatre in so long, I'm not even sure what's playing.
beckylevine
Jun. 22nd, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, the room takes time. I was your son when I was growing up--pretty much every time I got punished it was for not cleaning my room. So I let my son's get pretty far beyond where many parents would--partly because he's got great big closets he can shove things into, so the "seen" part can look tolerable. Also, because I hate cleaning & sympathize. So we're doing it together (this is probably 3-4 years build-up; too mean to send him in himself!) in bits & pieces. It's already looking better, but we haven't hit the closets yet!

We saw Up, which I highly recommend.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 23rd, 2009 04:37 am (UTC)
Movie choice
We all loved Night at the Museum 2 - really enjoyable and funny without the awful cringe moments I endured at Year One (not my choice of movie obviously). NatM2 is a great movie for all - made me want to go visit Washington DC. Enjoy!
beckylevine
Jun. 23rd, 2009 05:16 am (UTC)
Re: Movie choice
We didn't get there yet-hopefully we will. Oh, if you haven't been to the Smithsonian yet--the Natural History museum is really incredible!
(Anonymous)
Jun. 23rd, 2009 04:38 am (UTC)
Movie recommendation
for NatM2 was from me - Tricia - hope all is well.
ext_175581
Jul. 4th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
I still haven't gathered the courage to tackle my son's or daughters' rooms. You go, girl.
beckylevine
Jul. 5th, 2009 12:23 am (UTC)
We just do it in tiny bits & pieces. :)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )