asher63 (asher63) wrote,

Retrospective: 7 years.

Calendar year 2013 was my last year in San Francisco. The anticipated move back to Portland - and away from the kids - got me thinking about the past and the future. And about books.

On writing and young adults:

I think young people are interested in the past - but it has to be presented in a way that doesn't remind them of parents, teachers, or boring history books. Ancient Egypt is cool. (Ancient Egypt has ALWAYS been cool. Ancient Egypt was cool in Ancient Rome.) The more recent past could be cool, too. And you know, things that I don't think are cool might be cool to someone from a younger generation. Eighties music is now "oldies".

So, memoirs and nostalgia could be fun if it's done right. A memoir of growing up in the 70s with my crazy f**ked-up family? Well, who knows. I absolutely do not want to write a long, miserable account of my miserable childhood, and I'm quite sure nobody would want to read it. But if it were short vignettes, entertainingly told - "dark humor" I think would be the appropriate mood - it might work. ...

I like the idea of writing for younger people because I like the idea of having an impact on somebody's life at an early age. The YA books from my own youth really stayed with me - the Dark Is Rising books, the Green Knowe books, the Wrinkle in Time - well, "A Wrinkle in Time" anyway, I wasn't so big on the later ones. But I could spend a lot of time thinking back on the books I read in my teens and early twenties, and how they shaped the world I've lived in ever since. I like the idea of being able to reach people that way.

I think about Daniel and the world he lives in. I think about Sophie and the world she'll be growing up in. I guess I feel like I want to try to bridge that gulf - like what I wrote about earlier, with the Zelazny quote, "two different worlds ... never actually caught either one in the act of coming of going."

I started reading to Bunny from the Bible, and was surprised to find that it held her interest:

The last couple of nights I've been reading from "Bible Stories for Jewish Children" and she seemed engaged and interested. Sometimes when I don't think she's paying attention or understanding the words, she'll surprise me with a very specific question about the story.

Earlier today we were talking about her school schedule - Was she going to school today? Yes. Why? Because today is Tuesday. - and so on. I thought this was a good time to review the concept of the week, so I explained that the week has seven days. She proudly recited the names of the weekdays from Sunday to Saturday.

So then I asked her if she knew why the week has seven days; of course she did not. I said it's because there is a story in the Bible that describes G-d making the world in six days, and resting on the seventh day, Shabbat. I explained that the Bible is a very old and very important book, and that we learn from it about right and wrong, wisdom, traditions, and history.

We learned about life from the Ponies:

Bunny: Why is Twilight sad?
a63: She wants to help with the winter wrap-up, but she doesn't know how to fit in in Ponyville.
Bunny: She needs to go out more. She's all the time in the library.
a63: Yup.

In May, inspired in part by the Israeli original for the series 'Homeland', I wrote what I consider one of my better essays:

Who are you?
What is your name?
What's the place you call home? And if you were taken from your home by force, how would you stay true to who you are? ...

That was the summer that I figured out how to fix the increasingly severe back pain and foot pain - called 'plantar fasciitis' - that had been plaguing me for several years:

And I got to spend some time with TNG and Bunny together:

My dear friend B, an older lady I've been close with for more than 25 years, has often served as the glue keeping me connected with the two kids and their respective moms. Here is the one and only picture I have of all five of them together:
Tags: retrospective

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