I have met John Green once, maybe twice. He is a very nice man who was extremely cordial to me. He has done a lot for YA.
I read his first novel, Looking for Alaska, when it came out and I didn’t like it.
I don’t like manic pixie dream girls.
I haven’t read any of his other books. I have not read The Fault In Our Stars, and I won’t see the movie.
Because without reading the book, seeing the movie, or anything else, I know exactly how the story will go.
The Fault In Our Stars is about a girl with cancer. She will be dying. She will meet a boy in something cancer related like at the doctor’s or a hey, you’ve got cancer group. He will be charmed by her. He will do anything for her. There will be a road trip, probably for something the girl wants. The boy will arrange it. Then he’ll die. Manic pixie dream boys are no different than the manic pixie girls in this respect. End with girl getting message or note from dead manic pixie boy. She will vow I will or I do or I am because his manic love has helped her see life as it is, even though she thought she knew.
How’d I do?
You win, okay?
Just go out like a lamb. Please.
Seriously, this month is kicking my ass. Not cool, March. Not cool.
The first thing you have to know is that unless I have my contacts in or am wearing my glasses, I really can’t see anything. Before I saved up enough money to buy my own contacts, I wore those very thick glasses. And they were usually in some godawful bright orange shade. (My latest glasses are much better, btw, although I do now sort of get why my father always insisted on the cheaper neon huge lens ones)
Anyway, my husband got up this morning at five like he always does because he’s insane but instead of going off to the gym (I know! But he likes working out at five in the morning) he woke me up.
I grumbled, turned on the light and looked at him.
And said, “Oh my #@@%, your eye!”
Blind as I was, even I could see that his left eye had some weird thing GROWING out of the bottom lid and that his pupil was all messed up looking.
It looked even worse when I put my glasses on and we both agreed that I’d drive him to the doc in a box as soon as they opened.
So, one doctor visit later, my husband has been diagnosed with having a sty in his left eye AND a raging case of conjunctivitis. Which, as you all know, spreads like crazy.
So he’s quarantined upstairs and I’m washing my hands anytime I need to put in eyedrops or think I might touch anywhere near my eye.
(The weird thing growing out of his eyelid seems to be gone, or at least that is the report from upstairs. I’m just going to take his word for it)
Sometimes, my husband calls me from work crazy stressed out. Today’s call was about something that is just…wow. He has to program his school’s catalog into the student system (I think—there are a lot of acronyms in higher ed)
Okay, and this is just a sample of what he told me:
Class XXX: On YYZ
Studies Q,R, and W, with an emphasis on D and F, and, moreover, the interconnectness of A. Prerequisite: a grade of C or better in Class XXA or XXB, a grade of C or better in Class XXC or XXD, a grade of C or better in Unrelated Course, or permission of instructor
And the kicker—there isn’t a single person on campus who is qualified to teach the class!
My head aches for him. (Okay, he has a headache and I do too, but I’m going with sympathy headache)
some acts of courage are not grand or sweeping or dramatic at all. sometimes they are so small when you look back, you look past them. sometimes it’s not the moment you committed to keep going but the moment before that, when you were on the ground and felt only your defeat and you were so scared and alone in it, you weren’t sure if you could get up—or even if you wanted to—but you would take this breath and the next one and the one after that, just in case.
YES. Just yes.
nerves, thoughts on reading. and more nerves
I’m going to Seattle for the Winter Institute, and I’m very nervous. Getting on the Indie Next List?? Okay, shock. But this? Me and big-award authors?
I’m terrified. I don’t usually write books that people like. In fact, I tend to write books in which the main character is usually called mean (and that’s just a start)
I write books that get banned and I probably should do more about that but I feel like my book isn’t worth someone losing their job over.
Plus, we all know I can’t spell, so there’s that.
I have to say, though, I don’t really like being told that I’m reading a book wrong. My 11th grade English teacher told me that when I objected to her saying the Mississippi River meant something—can’t remember what. (We were reading Huckleberry Finn)
She actually said, “You’re reading the book wrong.”
Wrong? No. NO.
I told her “You’ve read the book your way. It’s not my way.”
I got sent to the principal’s office. My mother made my apologize. I didn’t mean it, but my parents had to work with her, etc.
But you bring something no one else can to a book when you read it. You bring you. And the author might not like it—I admit, I’ve read reviews and felt my eyes sting-but you know what? I’m not you. What you bring when you read is yours.
Own it. Because it’s you, and your voice and your thoughts matter.
Back to hyperventilating about Seattle.
There’s a new man in my life…
Yes, it is a dog wearing goggles, or rather—doggles. His name is Cole and he is awesome!
He’s also blind, but he doesn’t seem to notice.
My husband and I lost our beloved dog, Astrolabe, a while ago and I didn’t think I’d ever want another dog. But even though I’ll always miss Astrolabe—my first ever dog (or house pet of any kind, actually)—I missed having a dog around, and so did my husband.
So, in June, after my husband broke his leg, we did what any other obviously sane couple would do.
We adopted a blind dog.
To be honest, we went in to the humane society looking for a puppy. But Cole, who is between 2 and 3, won us over. He was sweet. And Zen. And he jumped into my arms like he belonged there the first time I sat down with him.
He’s also fearless. We actually had to buy him the doggles because when he places fetch (yes, he plays fetch!), he doesn’t know to close his eyes when he runs into something so he’s managed to bang up his eyes twice.
We don’t know much about his history, other than he was abandoned and the humane society picked him up before he could be put down, but given how well he moves (most people that meet him think he can see) we’re pretty sure he’s been blind since birth. He learned to move around the house fast enough and after carefully caring him up and down the stairs for a month because we were both afraid he might fall and figured we’d have to teach him—well, you can guess.
Yep, one morning he jumped off the bed and ran down the stairs like he’d been doing it all his life.
But then, after he’d bumped his eyes for the second time, they didn’t seem to be getting any better. I took him to our (awesome) vet, who gave us some bad news
Cole had glaucoma. We took him to an dog eye doctor (!), and he had to have an operation to try and fix his eyes (because we didn’t want him to have to lose them—even though he can’t see, he has very expressive eyes)
(And to be fair, although he might look sad in the picture, he wasn’t. He was listening at the door—he does it at EVER doctor’s visit. He can hear things like nobody’s business!)
Anyway….here we are now
Cole is feeling and doing much, much better and still has his eyes and he’d love to say hello except he’s doing his second favorite thing after playing fetch.
Some people told us we were crazy to adopt a blind dog.
Then they met Cole.
He changed their minds.
Anyone who thinks glue traps are better for catching mice hasn’t seen one trying to get out of it.
I did and there has got to be a better way.
AKA pleading because I can’t see what I saw today again. Ever.