Friday, August 15, 2008

Mother Said There'd Be Days Like This

What she didn't say is she'd be the cause.

I had a great time in East Greenbush, NY last night. Chrissie, the librarian, ran a dynamite program, and the kids in attendance were smart and polite and a pleasure to be around. I went with my friend Cynthia and it was wonderful to drive there and back with her and have a chance to catch up. GPS Thingy wasn't as well behaved as I would have liked (Cynthia doesn't have one, so I wanted to show off), but we didn't get lost going to the library and we found our way back home, in spite of its insistence we go to Boston instead.

When I got home, I found an e-mail from my editor expressing reservations about the current structure of the third book and five phone messages. That's an emergency number in my life, so I wasn't surprised when I found indeed there had been an emergency; my mother had fallen again and had been taken to the local hospital emergency room.

The hospital found my mother delightful but saw no reason to keep her, so I drove the fifteen minutes there, and helped her get back to her home. By the time I got to my apartment, it was 12:55 AM and Nastia Liukin was just about to win Olympic gold.

Much of the day has been spent exploring alternative living arrangements for my mother (and mourning the divorce of Mike and the Mad Dog). I also reread my editor's e-mail (or more accurately, read it, since last night I gave it the most cursory of skimmings), and saw she liked a lot of what I'd come up with, but strongly felt it needed the interweaving to differentiate it from Life As We Knew It and the dead and the gone.

My guess is Nastia Liukin is in a better mood than I am right now. Heck, Mike and the Mad Dog are probably in better moods than I am right now.

Then again, none of them have a GPS Thingy trying to send them to Boston.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need some more medicinal ice cream. Whatever format the new book has, I'll still buy it, and I have several friends who would as well.

We're all here to support you!

Mrs. Corbett said...

I agree with KC on the medicinal sundae.
"You" are a story-teller, "They" are editors. "We" will read and love the stories you write.

I'm sorry your mom is having health problems.

Stephanie said...

I agree with both kc and mrs. corbett! Ice cream is always a good thing. :)
Editors (even though I used to be one... *insert shifty eye movements*) aren't the ones who are putting countless hours into the book and falling in love with the characters and the way things should be. They also don't spend hours reading it and falling in love with the characters.

I'm sorry to hear about your mom's health problems. Know that she (and you as well) are in my thoughts and prayers.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi KC, Mrs. Corbett, and Texas Pixie-

Thank you for your comments and your support (and your urging of ice cream).

My editor is a very smart cookie, and I trust her judgment more often than not. What she's really offered me is a problem to solve, and under ordinary circumstances, I enjoy problem solving.

Of course right now most of my problem solving skills are dedicated to my mother. She's really in great shape for someone who'll be turning 97 in less than a month, but you don't reach that age without some issues.

My brother, sister-in-law, mother and I will get together on Monday to discuss various possibilities, and maybe come to some decisions. Then we'll see where the decisions take us.

Hmm. Maybe on the way home, I'll stop off for a medicinal sundae.

Already I feel better!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Nastia Lukin felt better than you when you wrote this post, but you should have seen her face during some of the scoring shenanigans. Girl was TORKED. (With good reason, in my couchside judging experience.)

Hope your mom is feeling better and you can find some help with her soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. On the flipside, I'm happy to hear your hesitant excitement over the possibility of a new kitten. :o)

As a big fan of LAWKI and TDATG, I know that I'd really really love a story in which the character has no one to lean on in those first 10 months. Like, she's contemplating a sugar daddy, it's that bad. Could her entire family die in that crash? I just want this to be really tense, unique story that has slim to nil shared plot points with the other two books (including the obligatory birthday parties and the calm, rational way people got food).

Just a random thought from the peanut gallery. No matter what, though, I'm picking up #3. :o)


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Heather T. Hi Anonymous-

After 4 Tylenol and a pain patch, my mother was definitely feeling better. After my second medicinal hot fudge sundae of the week, so was I.

Under the 6.0 system,I used to be able to judge figure skating (5.4 5.6), which made me distrust the system, because I knew nothing about figure skating, so why should I be able to judge it? But old system or new, I'm incapable of judging gymnastics (I'm on the "Stuck landing! Out of bounds!" level of sophistication).

I've sure been spending a lot of time watching the Olympics though.

Thank you, Anonymous, for the suggestion about the third book. I like it, although I don't know how or if I could use it.

At this point, all I know is I've got to intertwine. And while I'm feeling much better about things, as far as my mother is concerned, my guess is she's going to take a lot of my time and brain cells over the next few weeks.

But if I'm capable of pondering, I will definitely ponder your idea.

Marci said...

I trust that Freda will be comfortably situated soon, but the concept of moving her and her stuff to a new place is daunting. I wish she could stay where she is and be safe and comfortable, but I expect that is no longer possible. Somehow in the planning, the developers of her current abode missed some connections and transition possibilities.

Hot fudge sundaes are indeed therapeutic. I had more than my fair share this summer with Alice working at Friendly's and found that I like them with one scoop of vanilla and one of Vienna Mocha Chunk, but it is sort of overkill. I am now sufficiently fat that I will probably not be able to eat ice cream for the next year. Oh well!

I'm here if you need me.

Anonymous said...

Hello, again. I'm the one who earlier suggested the Native American connection.

A few days ago, I was watching the History Channel special Last Days on Earth, and a thought occurred to me. In your earlier two books, everybody was all hyped up about the meteor, wanting to see it and everything. Would there be any families around whose adult members didn't think the coming meteor was such a good thing, and maybe built an underground bunker or something, say, years ago, after Hale-Bopp rained pieces down on Jupiter, in preparation for something like this happening? The head of the family could be one of the minority voices of caution drowned out by the majority.

Just something to think about.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Marci (who I'll be seeing tomorrow). Hi Anonymous Of The Native American Connection-

One of my favorite scenes in the Possible Book Three That I actually wrote in its entirety but then died along with my hard drive which I just remembered I left at my mother's yesterday was one where Caitlin the drog finds the deserted cabin of a hoarder, filled with foods he hadn't eaten for fear he'd run out (I understand that kind of twisted psychology, although I'm of the let's eat everything today and hope for the best tomorrow school).

Maybe I could recycle that scene and have Sarah and her friends locate someone's underground bunker, still loaded with supplies. It'd be pretty funny if a family were all set for the end of the world, and then happened to be out of town when the world ended.

I'm waiting to hear from my editor about my revised version of the third book. If she doesn't like it, I think I'll find one of those underground bunkers and sulk in there for as long as the food lasts (which, in my case, will be until sometime that night!)