Saturday, May 24, 2014

Getting in Touch with My (Literary) Roots

I got roped into some spring cleaning over at my parents' house today. To say that they are pack rats would be kind. But, they are also realists. Comments have been made (and not really in jest) that each one wants to be the one to die first so that they don't have to get stuck with cleaning out the house. Realistically, I know it will fall on me.

I'm not gonna lie--cleaning this stuff is hard for me as well. When push came to shove, I was not able to get rid of three of my dolls/stuffed animals. The rest I tossed, shedding a tear for my Cabbage Patch Preemie (Linette Elisa) and my Koosa (Sunshine), as well as the Raggedy Ann and Strawberry Shortcake dolls my mom made for me.

I can see how hard it is on my mom throwing this stuff out, especially some of the things that were my grandmother's. But she/we made progress with large piles of things for donations and garbage. I did find some board games that I know my kids will play when they are over there, including this 1980 Star Wars game (check out the price!!!). My brother cleaned out some of his books and gave a bag to my son, who is all excited to read the original Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark series, in addition to Back to the Future.

I found a necklace that my dad gave me when I was sick as a get well present. I was probably five or six.

I also found a bunch of my old school work. While I don't really remember ever wanting to be a writer, I certainly did a lot of writing when I was in elementary and high school. Here is a book review I did for the 7th and 8th grade newspaper:

This was also in that newspaper, which was the November 1989 edition (frankly, I don't remember it at all).

The two other articles are by the girls who were among my closest friends in grade school (Mari-ann, you had an add for a scooter for sale right under my book review).

I found some notes from friends (Kelly, they are hysterical. We have to get together and read through them some day). But then I also found a poem that I wrote, probably in high school. I was apparently disenchanted with some of the classics we had been reading. Ironic, considering I loved high school English (with the exception of Emily Dickinson, who I thought was a freak. I have since matured). I was such a nerd that I probably thought trashing these authors was a huge act of rebellion. I guess it just goes to show that even the literary greats don't always get the best reviews.

(DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a poet. Frankly, I don't even understand poetry unless it rhymes. And I was probably about 16 when I wrote this. It took me 21 more years to publish a book, so keep that in mind).

Here is my untitled poem:

"To be or not to be" Shakespeare once said.
But now, who cares? Shakespeare is dead.
The literary giants, so widely acclaimed,
yet I can see no reason for their great fame.
Crane had "Courage," Golding had "Flies."
But I couldn't wait to see their demise.
Dickinson, Twain and Bronte too--
I can't find where credit is due.
These giant messes, they couldn't mend.
The only thing that saved them was,

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