I’m reading this new-to-me author, Rachel Hawkins. I’m in the third book of this Hex Hall trilogy that my author brought home. She’s into these stories of empowered women saving the universe from whatever evil is en vogue right about now: vampires, witches, dystopian universes, etc. My author, meanwhile, is writing a short story for her writing class. I look up from time to time, and she’s still typing away which is good because I’m almost done with this and I know there’s a fourth book around here somewhere.
My author looks over at me a moment, and doesn’t seem to see me, but then she focuses on the cover. “It’s good, right?” she says.
I nod. In life, I wrote a lot of children’s fantasy, so the stuff she has around here has kept me busy over the years. There was a window when she wasn’t reading as much fiction, and she’d come back with these dry non-fiction reads that even she wasn’t actually interested in reading. I understood why she bought them: she wanted to “engage in the discourse of academia.” But none of that was really her passion. A lot of those books languish on the shelves in the upstairs of the house that she shares with her husband, child, and some cats. Oh, and obviously, me. I’m her muse, by the way.
I glance up to see what she’s doing. She’s gone back to typing. She’s pretty busy these days. We used to spend hours talking about life, about writing, about my books. But now it’s like she barely needs me anymore.
Continue reading “Cat by Cat”
The first time you go AWOL, stumbling over the sides of your crib, you might rush yourself over to the bookshelves and select a few titles. You’ll toss them into the crib, understanding that reading in bed is to be the most divine of pleasures, but be forced to cry to get help when you can’t lift yourself back into the crib with your plunder. You’ll be reading fluently by the age of two or so, confusing your mother when your precociousness in life doesn’t match up with your reading prowess; you hide behind her at every opportunity and are subsequently enrolled in pre-school to “socialize” you. Your little sister never has to go.
You’re such an academic wonder, your mother and father push to enroll you in Kindergarten at the age of 4. After all, having an October birthday can’t be a hard-and-fast rule for someone who has been reading for two years, right? The district will offer everyone the opportunity, but only you will pass the screening to gain admission to Kindergarten early. The only thing that tripped you up in the screening? Of all things, it will be the eye chart. In a real doctor’s office, eyes are screened with a chart of a hodgepodge of letters grouped in a pyramid shape. But when reading before attending school is unusual, there will be an eye chart made only of the letter “E.” Some E’s will be facing left, others right, and others are up or down. You will be confused when they ask you to pretend your hand is an “E” and turn it to show which direction the letter E is pointing. You have no idea they are trying to check whether you can see. Had they busted out a real eye chart, the one with all of the letters, you would have passed it the first time, rather than having to go back a second time to have the lady imperfectly explain to you the hand gestures you needed to make to “read” the eye-chart of a single letter.
Continue reading “We All Turn Out Just Fine”