Catching Up ...
So, Mia was wonderful at her recital. Of course I would say that, but it's true. At one point all the little girls had to pass bags of potato chips down the line until everyone had one; due to a minor mix-up, Mia ended up with two. I was afraid this would upset her, but she looked out at the audience and smiled and shrugged, eliciting an appreciative laugh from them. A minor thing, but it lit me up.
The Daddy-Daughter Dance also went well: I did not have any accidents, and when I did the leaping mid-air split my pants remained intact. I did land on that one kid, but she wasn't standing on her marking, so it was her fault, not mine. I am told she will walk again, so I don't know what everyone's getting all worked up about.
No pictures were allowed during the performance; they didn't want kids getting blinded by flashbulbs and pirouetting off the stage, which strikes me as sound reasoning.
My mother recently discovered an album of story rejections I started keeping back when I was about 20 or so ... I pasted each rejection letter on the left page and each first page of the story on the facing page. When she gave it to me I thought it would be amusing to reproduce those first pages here. Then I actually read them ....
You won't be seeing those pages.
They are bad enough that anybody who reads them will never trust me as a writer again. What amazes me is that they were written just a year or two before I got accepted into Clarion in 1992 (I know this because I recorded the copyright date on each page, complete with the carefully hand-drawn circled "c" (I note with some dismay that there is still not a copyright symbol on the keyboards)). Now, at Clarion, I remember being a barely competent beginner who got accepted, I think, because of a rudimentary ability to string coherent sentences together. I recently saw a list of titles of the stories I turned in there ... let me just say it was sobering. But, looking at these first pages ... wow. It was worse than I thought.
Anyway ... just finished a new, and I hope better, story called "The Lamentation." I'm about to finish "North American Lake Monsters," which I'd put on the backburner while I figured out some details in my head.
Nearly through reading Paul Park's A Princess of Roumania, which I had a difficult time getting into. I almost stopped reading it half a dozen times in the first 150 pages. I stuck with it partly because I've had good experiences with Park's fiction before, and partly because people like LeGuin and Crowley and Fowler gave it such high praise. I'm glad I did; once I finally settled into the book's conceit, I started really enjoying it. It's worth the effort.
Mia only has three days of kindergarten left; it's unbelievable to me. Yesterday there was an awards ceremony for the kindergarteners, and she won a good citizenship award, as well as a special award for her little saddle-stapled books, which she fills with stories and illustrations. She mis-heard "good citizenship" as "good singing," though, so she thinks she's been recognized for her wonderful singing voice. I haven't corrected her. She's about to go down to Alabama to visit her mom for the summer, and I want to hear all the singing I can:
"See you later, alligator,
Adios, cinnamon toast ... "