Sunday, February 14, 2010

That Carefree Summer.

Steve and Blue had the life. If I could take anything from my childhood I would take the power to "ska-doo" into pictures and books.

It's days like today that I raise the blinds so high they are in danger of sticking there forever; days like today I actually regret I have a license and drove my car to that church meeting, and can't walk the two blocks down to my house; days like today I wish life was a book.

I love the books that take you compeltely away, and for me that doesn't always mean Harry Potter or Ink Heart or something completely out there like Keys to the Kingdom or Poison. While these books are utterly delightful, sometimes all I crave is a simple story of young teens in the summer months getting lost in summer festivities. My heart aches as I recall such books that took me away to peaceful summer times, but I don't recall their names.

Curse my elementary literary mind.

Here is a list of some that just flooded back to me:

Olive's Ocean;
Lily's Crossing;
A Handful of Time;
Dicey's Song;
Al Capone Does My Shirts;
Absolutely Maybe;
Toby Lived Here;
The House of Three Sisters;
Daring to be Abigail;
Sixth Grade Secrets;
Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You;
The Undertaker's Gone Bananas;
Girl in the Shadows;

One of these days I think I'll scorge up a group of hoodlums and break into my old elementary. While they vandalize the bathrooms I'll skim the library for the books of my youth that changed my perspective.

My sixth grade teacher told us to get in the habit of writing down all the books we'd read, so we'd never forget. I remember thinking it was a good idea, but I never did.

And here I am now, just five years later, forgetting and regretting the un-named books now meshing in my head.

There was one about several kids, and the youngest daughter wanted to be an actress; she'd grab random books from the library and practice reading the different characters. The neighbors made fun of her; and some type of prank including a pie was later involved. Or was it a cake? And I think the cake was on the girl's mom's favorite plate, and the mean girls threw it off a high bridge into the river.

There was one about a girl who found a diary in her house, which always stuck with me because the diary had each page with the date already writen on it, because the girl had to flick through all of the pages to hit an entry in June, which was the last one. There was also a ghost in the old abandoned school house. Or was it in the attic?

There was one of a girl who played the violin, and when she played the old antique one she found with a shawl in an old trunk, she was taken back in time.

One day I'll write one of these such books. One day a poor soul will sit on her bed with the blinds pulled as high as possible, thinking about all the books that changed her perspective.

And she won't remember the title of mine.

And she won't remember the main character's name.

And she'll mix the plot with the plot of three other books because she pictured them all taking place in the exact same house.

But she'll remember it changed her.

And I guess that's all writing is for.

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