it was a dark and stormy night…

No, I’m not talking about tonight (it’s still sort of light and it’s not so much stormy as cold). I’m talking about one of my FAVORITE books as a kid A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. After this morning’s somber entry, I wanted to write something else that wasn’t so sad.

Enter this week’s “Book of the Week.”  (I didn’t do one last week. Sorry.)

This afternoon, after wiping off the shock of the morning’s horrible news, I decided I needed to do something (other than actual studying) to make me smile. And, other than a 80% off Kate Spade sale (have you seen this? I die), nothing makes me happier quicker than a trip to the bookstore (RIP, Borders. I’m still mourning your loss).

After browsing amongst the “grown up” books, I decided to take a gander through the juvenile (not THAT Juvenile!) section, I came across this

Next to Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, this was my favorite book as a kid (and, ok, The Babysitters Club too). And I was a kid that didn’t like science fiction or fantasy (the closest I got was loving fairytales. But most little girls love fairytales, so that doesn’t count). But this was the book that made me want to be a writer.

I had wanted to be a writer since first grade, when ALL of my stories were about a little girl getting a kitten (I think I was trying to subtly get my parents to buy me a cat. It didn’t work. I’m 2[redacted] years old and I’m still cat-less). I always liked to read (Ann M. Martin was basically a crack pusher to me. If she released a book, I HAD to have it.), but I don’t think I quite grasped what being a writer ACTUALLY was. But in fifth grade, thanks to my teacher (the incredible and incomparable Mrs. Carol Watson), I began to really GET what being a writer was (mostly because she herself was a writer).

And then I read A Wrinkle in Time. It was the first book I read that made me THINK about what I was reading. The Babysitters Club was mindless fluff, and Little Women and Anne of Green Gables were pretty straightforward novels about young women (Jo and Anne, respectively) that were feisty and smart and didn’t apologize for it (sort of baby “chick lit” if you will. I was bitten by THAT bug early). But A Wrinkle in Time was different. It tried to get at something more…something deeper. And, at age 10, I couldn’t possibly understand what L’Engle was REALLY trying to get at (mostly Biblically symbolism and the battle of good v. evil, the idea of a group-think society where individual thought is not allowed), but I knew that it was more than what was actually going on on the page. I think that’s when I TRULY fell in love with the written word.

That’s when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be the person who made people fall in love with books.

I knew I had a copy of the book…somewhere. Most likely in the basement of my parents’ house amidst the Sweet Valley High and aforementioned (argh. lawyer-talk. I hate myself.) Babysitters Club. I did manage to unearth it and dove right into the world of Meg and Charles Wallace, Calvin O’Keefe, Mrs Which, Mrs Whatsit and Mrs Who, Aunt Beast and, of course, IT. If you didn’t read the book as a kid (or have kids that haven’t read it), I can only implore you: do so. It’s a quick read (it IS, after all, a children’s/YA book), but very much worth it. For kids, it’s a fantastic adventure into fantastical world (think Narnia or Perelandra/Malacandra from the Space Trilogy) and for adults, it’s a brilliant symbolic story about the battle of good v. evil.

It’s basically the story of Meg and Charles Wallace Murry who are taken to a faraway land (along with their friend, Calvin) to rescue their father, a scientist, who has been missing for a long time. Meg is a pre-teen girl’s idol: she’s awkward and doesn’t have many (any) friends, she doesn’t fit in at school (or at home) and the one person that she feels close to (her father) is missing.  But she ends up being a kick-ass chick that doesn’t play backseat to a male character—she does a lot of the saving on her own.

In short: just read it (Or re-read it if you read it as a kid. Try it. You’ll like it.)

In other pop culture news, I am not-so-patiently awaiting this

I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it. Favorite. Show. Of. All. Time(s) (thanks, Kanye!)

I can’t wait to see what the Bluth gang is up to (hopefully finally getting rid of that stair car. or maybe FINALLY getting the cornballer approved by the US government).

Next summer is SO far away.

 

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2 thoughts on “it was a dark and stormy night…

  1. You say you “wanted to be a writer”. Let me correct you now — you ARE a writer! Your blog is wonderful, and I’m not just saying that because I know you, love you, and am afraid of your mom (just kidding, Barb!). You write colloquially, and it just flows so naturally. I first read the Maggie misadventures, and I was almost literally rolling on the floor. I think you should seriously consider writing as a profession….you could do some freelance work while doing some other job(s), until you write your great first novel or compilation of columns. Your writing reminds me of Jennifer Weiner (is that how she spells her name?).

    Think about it…you’ve always wanted to do it, and you’re REALLY good at it.

    That’s my unsolicited 2 cents (IMHO).

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