Posted by: jeannineatkins | September 25, 2009

When Bubbles Pop

So yesterday morning I wrote a blog entry about how great my day was going to be.

I met Jo and Ellen for lunch and writing, thinking of how beautiful Jo had looked last week, excited both about the class she’d be teaching in a few hours and the writing she was doing in the present. Yesterday Jo was as always beautiful, but worry creased her face as she told us about people trying to ban her first novel from a school’s reading circle. Who can be happy thinking about people who can’t tell fiction from a prescription for living, people who think being gay is wrong and something that should never be spoken or written about, people who think they have a right to keep thoughtful and beautiful books out of the hands of not just their children but everyone elses’. Well, it doesn’t change the world, but I hope anyone facing a book challenge can get to see Ellen Wittlinger’s eyes bulge and her face twist while you talk. We did go on to write, and it was a good afternoon, even if I wish we could have left Jo with more than hugs.

My supper with friends was the fun I had expected. We talked of children, husbands, books, and politics, and the weather was nice enough to sit on the deck by North Pleasant Street, where we saw gorgeous Clysedale horses pull a wagon with a dalmation prancing on top. Margaret and I made plans to hear Mary Oliver read poetry at Smith College next week, and Karen and I made plans to see Margaret perform as puppeteer in Eric Carle’s A House for Hermit Crab and Mister Seahorse at the Carle Museum.

Then I went to my writing group feeling good about my novel. They were nice about my latest chapters, but it wasn’t the kind of nice that was Oh wow just keep going. It was the kind of nice that was: here are some ideas of how to fix those chapters.

I left and woke up deflated, but as I work, I can see my vision getting clearer again. Even if my timetable once again got a little longer. I’m determined to work, and I did, and I will, but I’m writing this blog after having snatched up the phone and gotten a surprise call from my lovely friend Jess. She had some time off this afternoon and asked if I wanted to take advantage of the good weather. Well. Um. I looked out the window at the sun on yellow-turning leaves and suggested we climb Mount Sugarloaf.

I’d better get on my sneakers.



  1. Sometimes climbing a mountain is just the thing for refilling the creative well. I’m so glad you’re taking the time to go for a hike with your friend. Sounds wonderful!
    And maybe you’ll come back from the heights with a whole new perspective.
    I’m with you on the slogging through the nitty gritty part though. Sending hugs. 🙂

  2. It frustrates me so much to see people banning books — especially lovely Jo’s! It does so much damage.
    But I’m glad you and Ellen were there for support and hugs. And I hope you have a wonderful walk up that mountain.

  3. Oh, I love the view from that mountain! Lovely!!!
    Thanks so much for your kindest of words, Jeannine.
    I’ll keep slogging with you…

  4. It was a small mountain, but great view, and we made each other laugh.
    I’m happy to be back with you in the lower double digits again!

  5. It was perfect (small) mountain climbing weather. My friend teaches yoga, and at the top she said, “I think I’ll do some flips.” Then she did two cartwheels.
    I watched.
    Have a good weekend, Amy.

  6. Yes, it was a lovely view. I’ve never seen the river so high in fall: all that rain was good for something (and green grass in September).
    Glad to be slogging with you. Hope you have a good weekend — Burlington sounds wonderful. xo

  7. The censorship stinks. Thank goodness Jo has you guys to tell her she’s right, and they’re wrong. And to hug.
    I’m glad you got undeflated again, too. 🙂

  8. Thanks for all your good wishes, Becky.
    Jo has such a big beyond blood ties family, and when she feels any part of it is getting attacked, well… it’s hard. She rallies beautifully, but I know she’s grateful for all hugs.
    Have a good weekend!

  9. I hate that Jo and so many others have to fight these stupid battles over censorship but I am glad we can all rally behind them to offer support.
    Your life seems so full of wonderful experiences. I love looking at the world through your eyes.

  10. One day the world will be better thanks to those like Jo dedicated to young adults.
    And thank you for the kind comment which I throw right back at you.

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