Tuesday, December 1, 2009

She's Come Undone (at Least Halfway)

***Meet me in Mill Creek at University Bookstore, Monday, 12/7, at 7:00P!***

The life of a self-published author is almost too glamorous to write about.

It was time to pick up more copies of MOURNING BECOMES CASSANDRA, so off I drove with a friend (read fellow book-loader) to Centralia, Washington. It's not like I was out of books. My husband would tell you we'd finally managed to reduce garage inventory to a sane level, but with two book signing events on the horizon in December, I didn't want to risk running out. ("Running out? Ha!" laugh the evite gods, as I look at the six confirmed attendees for the Mill Creek book signing. Hey, I won't even need to bake a dozen cookies. A half dozen will do...I haven't yet worked up the nerve to call Jessica at the store to tell her to set up eight chairs: six for guests, one for me, and one for the staff person wondering why she has to work late.)

The school bus pulled up as I was unloading the eleven, 25-lbs.+ boxes, shoving aside plastic sleds and containers of hand-me-down clothes, and the kids were in fine form. Even after they went inside, I could hear them fighting with each other. (Did I tell you I try to apply C. S. Lewis's THE GREAT DIVORCE as a parenting book? Just like the people in hell, I think the easiest answer to any conflict is for my children just to get away from each other. Far away. Far, far away.)

Sure enough, Jackson comes running out. "Holly called me a Dumbo!"

(Fill in the blanks with my reply. As any parent knows, it really doesn't matter what I say in response here.)

A minute later, it's Holly out to rat on him. "Jackson is hitting everyone, and he won't leave us alone!"

(More ineffectual peacemaking attempts on my part.)

Two minutes later, Jackson's back out, wailing dramatically like Anakin Skywalker when he lost Padme. "Holly hit me and my glasses fell off and the lens POPPED OUT!!!!"

To paraphrase Francesca in Dante's INFERNO, "we unloaded no more books that day."

At least Francesca was only stuck in hell with her lover Paolo. Unrelenting storm and all, how hellish could that be? Of course, the adulterous lovers were only in Circle Two of the Inferno. Parents of three young children probably were at least two more circles down, right next to Vainglorious Would-Be Authors Who Hound Their Friends Constantly to Buy Books.


  1. See if they know who Kelso is. We use Kelso on the playground - instead of rolling my eyes at the annoying things students complain about each other to me, I say, "is this a big problem or a little problem" When they admit it's a small problem, they know we'll ask them what are their choices - there's a little chart here: http://www.lwsd.org/school/bell/For-Parents/Pages/Counselor.aspx I'll watch them figure out what to do next and I'm amazed that taking me out of the problem solving usually works! Yeah, I know, offspring might respond differently to their parents than to other adults - but maybe it's worth a shot.

  2. oh Christina, you make me laugh. Sounds like my morning :) Miss you!