Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sexy Posters Beside Lego Towers

I visited my daughter and her sons earlier this week and was treated to home-made chili for dinner. It gave us a chance to catch up on events in her life. Mine is fairly quiet at the moment.

It also gave me the opportunity to see my grandsons and this post is mostly about them-so if you are not in the mood to read a love letter-scroll down to the grunts'n groans section at the end.

Frank is 13 (and three months) and so far he is sailing through early adolescence and keeping vestiges of his boyhood close by. He has a poster of a sexy young singer in a bikini on the front of his dresser, and parked next to that is the Lego tower (city/space station etc.) that has been growing in his room for years. The current version of this fantastic world replaces one I accidentally toppled a few months ago. He and his brother Sam have collected Lego for years. In fact, they have so much of it that relatives are not allowed to give them more. When the edict came from on high ( 'mom says no') it caused great dismay among the male reli's.

Frank is often dreamy, and apparently he only hears requests or orders issued from on high (mom or dad) after the third utterance. That's totally normal, I think. What really amazes me is how happy he is. He also has 'cred' with his friends who are almost all physically larger than he is because: he has a girl-friend (but not in the city), he does well in school (not outstanding, but quite well), he's studying Judo twice a week and he manages to do his chores. He's going to be allowed to dye his hair black Why black I don't know, but mom said yes. Maybe he's happier and more confident than some 13 year olds I've met because he actually has time to himself. Time to just be in that in-between world of of boyish imagination interspersed with real-world aspirations.

Sam, who is 11 and-a-little-bit is only showing one visible sign of being a teen. And it's not one he's happy with. But since he has an almost uncontrollable sweet tooth, he may have to live with the occasional spot on his face. He's going out trick-or-treating and will be wearing his medieval page costume. He's made a sword and shield to go with it. I'm not sure when he found the time, between books. He's a read-a-holic. Just can't imagine where he got that propensity from. Well, I can, but I refuse to admit any responsibility. Sam is also fond of clothes and chooses what he will wear very carefully. Things must coordinate or he is not satisfied. Dance and cross-country running seem to be his favourite activities right now. But he's a quick-silver child and that could change at any moment. Of course that's one of the things I like most about him. He also has the kind of charm that people (not just family) find irresistible. I hope he has no desire to dye his naturally red-gold hair black, but older brothers have influence.

Grunts'n Groans

I'll soon be literally grunting and groaning when I try to move my friend, the bear's belongings in order to get a new bed into his apartment next week. Can't wait till this adventure is over. Mind you, I did discover I have a latent super-shopper gene when I was searching for new sheets for his new bed. Or maybe I don't, and fate was just assisting me to find a 25% off sale at Zellers so I could get 4 flat sheets for $51 including tax. Mom woulda bin proud.

Internet searching is not all it's cracked-up to be or- Why can't I find anything?

I wanted to find out more about my father's father and his grandfather and so I've been net-trolling. No success yet. His father's surname is too common and while he had three given names, none of them show up. It's back to before square one, or maybe my aunt will remember something. There may or may not be an Acadian connection and that's one of the things that got me interested in the first place. If only people had kept to consistent spellings for names. They didn't of course, and so I've researched Girard and Giruard and Carriere and Carrier and so on with no luck so far.

I'm going to use Windsor, Ontario as the setting for my NaNoWriMo draft/novel-to-be. They (those lit-crit Gods) say that first novels always have biographical elements. So I might as well go with my inclination. Besides, Windsor is a neglected setting (never mind that there may be good reasons for that!) and other cities will enter the fray at various points along the way. Since I'll be using Windsor in the '50's and '60's I may have to rely on memory if my internet research skills don't help. Or, I could take a trip to the Windsor library.

I have a couple of themes in mind, but am not at all sure of the plot elements. Could I write a plotless novel. Doubtful. Robertson Davies said something like, his ideal work would be plotless. Unfortunately, I'm not R.D., so I must figure out at least some of the plot elements and I should try to do that before November first. So much to do, so much dithering to get through.

Maybe I'll think about that tomorrow.

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