Monday, February 22, 2010

book chat - jumping on the bandwagon edition

I started reading The Lightning Thief a few weeks ago, because I heard it had been made into a movie and all my students are wild for this series.

I had a very hard time getting into it and couldn't get past the fact that he Stole The Whole Idea from J.K. Rowling! He did.

Harry Potter = Percy Jackson
Wizards = Demigods
Hogwarts = Camp Half Blood
Hermione and Ron = Annabeth and Grover
Voldemort = Kronos

I'm going to stop, but really, I could go on.

So, I mentioned to my book club that I'm not liking the series and they all gasp. I give them the above mentioned problem of Rick Riordan being a copycat, to which one of the members says "So?".

Ahhh.....Nova the Librarian comes to a realization. Children's tastes are derivative. If they like something, then more of the same is exactly what they want. So, I went back to the book and tried again. And, now I'm hooked. I am now working on the sequel, Sea of Monsters and I'm sure that I will end up reading the whole series.

It's well written and it's fun. So what if it's a copy, it's a copy of something we all LOVED. And really, J.K. Rowling is a truly original thinker and we should all get down and kiss her feet for the gift she bestowed the world.

I used to be a book snob. I am now a reformed book snob. What do you get for being a party pooper, parade rainer? Read on, readers, read on.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

lover list

I was going to write this as a Valentine's post. However, my computer is broken and I have a really stuffy nose. It's ok, you don't need a holiday to write about love.

My Ramona was born in the morning on May 1st. My mom told me later that as she held her she realized that it had been a very long time since she had added anyone to her "lover list".

A lover list is something my sister invented when she was very small. It was essentially an existential kind of list of people that she loved. It was mainly used as a reward or a punishment. "You are NOT on my lover list!" or "You are number one on my lover list!"

Last year, 2009, was a big year for love. Five weeks after Ramona was born, my nephew was born. This means that on top of all the things that I am, I'm also an aunt. Aunt Nono. He is the sweetest, cutest, nicest little boy. One baby is cute, two babies is crazy cute. They are beginning to act like cousins. They steal things out of each other's hands, they follow each other around. It's a baby party.

My family is better than it has ever been. The birth of my nephew has been one of the most profound things that has ever happened to me. He has shown me how to let go and love. He has shown me that the situation doesn't have to be perfect and it's not my job to control everyone. And, he has introduced me to my sister.

I have never had much in common with my sister. Getting to know her now, as a fellow mother, has given us this safe, common ground to become actual sisters and friends.

Happy Belated Valentine's, D&D.

Friday, February 12, 2010

mindful morning

On a perfect morning, I wake her up. At first she struggles to pull herself out of her dreams. She tries to put her head up, but finds it too heavy and falls back to the mattress. She smiles while she does this, like it's totally amusing. I sing a little song. We chase away the little stars and we shine away the moon.

First hugs, then diaper change and time to nurse. Then I feed her cereal and I eat my breakfast at the same time. She thinks it's very fun to eat together. She chomps her food extra funny when she sees that I'm also chewing.

Then I wash her face and do this funny thing where I sniff her cheeks. I tell her that she "sniffs good". I have been doing this since the beginning. After I get her dressed, I brush her hair. She has amazing hair. It's still very short, but it is an unbelievable texture. It's the thickest baby hair I have ever felt.

While I do these morning baby things, I abandon all thought. I do the things, I enjoy the things, I don't look at the clock, I don't engage in discursive thought. It is the only time of the day when I am not on another planet. It feels very good to be with my daughter, but it feels even better to be with me. Not the me of the future or of the past. Not the me of desires and plans. Just me, having a small brush with reality.

Monday, February 8, 2010

baby steps

Not Ramona (although she does spend every waking moment trying to walk, I wish we could make her wear a crash helmet). No,I mean me.

This morning, during my shower, I decided to finish writing my research paper.

It suddenly felt like something I could be brave enough to do. I have some serious guilt for abandoning it. I feel like I let my professor down. I know, stupid, it's my life. If she thinks I'm a loser, whatever. This feeling of guilt has actually made it harder to pick this thing back up.

So, baby steps, first I had to return to the scene of the crime: My university e-mail. I had to find the e-mail that contained the edits from my last draft and save it to my computer. I know, big damn deal, huh? It was. It had me scared silly. What if my account is expired? What if my professor has been sending me "Nova, what the hell is your problem?" e-mails? What if she really hated my paper last time she read it?

Well, I did it. Paper saved. The only way I was able to do it was by promising myself that I wouldn't read any new e-mails. After that, I re-read my paper and I read what she thought of it. It isn't good, folks.

Now, I will begin editing my work, one horrible page at a time. I haven't decided when to bring my professor in on the fact that I'm actually working on it again. I don't want her to get her hopes up or anything.....

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ramona and her Mother

In the beginning, I attempted to write book reviews. That didn't last long. I just wasn't that interested in giving a comprehensive look at any book. There are a bunch of places that do that really well. School Library Journal,Kirkus, Booklist....the list goes on. They will tell you everything you need to know.

I will tell you everything you don't need to know.

I started calling them book reviews and now I've demoted them to "book chats". I'm considering calling them book musings or book ramblings. I don't know.

I have been writing Ramona and Her Mother since July 2009. About 7 months. I've come to realize that I am always slightly off my topic. Just by a bit. I write about my daughter, Buddhism and librarianship, but never directly, never head on. You, dear reader, rarely get a decent book review. You rarely get a good baby picture. What you get is my heart. You get the light and dark of me. The room of my own.

Last year, a friend asked me if I had a secret dream. I did. I told him that I had always wanted to write and I thought I would really enjoy writing a blog. He pointed out that writing a blog didn't really need to be a secret dream. Doesn't everyone write a blog? It's funny that I began writing when I had no time to spare. The thing about time is that it isn't. (Right?)

If you are an old friend, reading and constantly scratching your head about what has become of Nova, thank you for reading and never asking me what the hell is going on. If you are my mother or a certain dear friend, and worry that I'm putting too much out there, thank you for always retracting your statements. If you are one of the bloggy girlfriends (as Maezen puts it) out there in the world, thank you for adding me to your daily list of things to run your eyes over. Thank you readers, readers everywhere.