Tuesday, August 12, 2008

MG Moments and Mirrors

I usually take on too much in my life. When I had two kids under the age of five, a husband who was away most of the time in corportate America, no help from family, and a part time job, I decided to do the only logical thing: I decided to have another baby.

It's sort of like an ADHD of the soul.

So now I am trying to leave a numbing teaching job that looms in the fall by becoming a freelance writer (the research is so interesting that I don't get any writing done), write a middle grade and a young adult novel simultaneously while my kids bicker and complain they are bored.

Then there are the dishes and wet towels and the cat hairballs that um..."reappear" on the carpet complete with feline stomach bile. (I just picked three random items that are completely and entirely invisible to the rest of my family).

I'm not complaining, just observing.

So when my friend came for a visit this weekend, she asked me, "How do you keep the tone of the middle grade novel and the young adult novel separate? Don't you mix them up?"

Here's how:

In our hallway, there is a mirror. Before my sons leave, they have to check that their hair is straighter than a ruler, that their pants are properly sagged, that their cell phones are properly aligned in their pockets so they won't mix a single text message.

This morning my daughter (a fourth grader) was ducking down in front of the mirror. After she did this about five times, I asked her what she was doing.

"Checking," she whispered, "but I'll tell you later, Mom."

She did: Emma believed the mirror had "captured" her face and was holding it there. All she had to do was pull away fast enough and she would be able to still see her face caught inside the mirror.

That's the difference.


Marcia said...

That is a fantastic way to capture the difference! Beautiful.

Anne Spollen said...

Thanks, Marcia! It was really a perfect moment.