(insert pithy rejoinder here)

Somebody Shoot Me

A Conversation with my mother the day I told her I finished my novel.

ME: “Well Mom, it’s done. I finally finished it.”

MOM: “Finished what?”

ME: “Uh…my novel. The one I’ve been working on for the past year. Yeah, it’s done.”

MOM: “I had no idea you were writing a book! What is it about?”

ME: (sighs) “It’s a young adult novel about a teenager named Sawyer Hayden who–“

MOM: “Sawyer? Oh I don’t like that name.”

ME: ”Well it’s too late to change it now. ANYWAY…he wants a basketball scholarship so he–“

MOM: “Basketball? But you don’t play basketball! And why are you writing about boys anyway? You’re a woman who lives in New Hampshire! I know what you should do. Join a writing group and try to make friends with that woman writer there…

ME:  Please don’t say Jodi Picoult.

MOM: …the one who writes all those nice cancer books. You know who I mean.”

ME: (sigh 2x) “Her name’s Jodi Picoult, mom.”

MOM: “No, that’s not it. Well, whoever she is I hear her books are very popular.”

ME: “FINE! WHATEVER! JUST LISTEN!” (deep breath) “In my book Sawyer asks his brother River to help–“

MOM: “RIVER? Oh I don’t like that name either. Why did you pick such ugly American names? With so many nice names in our family to choose from you–“

ME: “HOW ABOUT RAPHAEL? THAT’S WHAT I NAMED THE DAD SO HOW ABOUT THAT!”

MOM: “Finally a name I like! It’s about time you remembered you’re Italian.”

ME: “Ok…but just so you know, I made the dad Spanish.”

MOM: (appalled) “NOW WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST MAKE HIM ITALIAN? HOW AM I GOING TO TELL THE FAMILY IN ITALY THAT MY DAUGHTER WROTE A BOOK ABOUT SPANIARDS AND NOT ITALIANS?!”

ME: “I’M IRISH TOO, MOM! WHY DON’T I JUST MAKE HIM IRISH LIKE MY DAD, HUH? HOW’S THAT SOUND?”

MOM: “Spanish is fine.”

ME: “CAN WE FOCUS NOW? PLEASE?!”

MOM: “Yes, yes. Continue.”

ME: (sighs, molto frustrato) “So SAWYER leaves his father and moves to Nebraska–“

MOM: Bites lip.

ME: “NOW what’s wrong?”

MOM: “Well…why does he have to live in Nebraska? It’s a land locked state.”

ME: (rubbing temples) “What does Nebraska being a land locked state have to do with anything?”

MOM: “I don’t trust the seafood in land locked states. It’s too expensive. What you’re really paying for is the truck to have it delivered. They don’t fool me.”

ME: “Fine. You know what? I’ll change it to a coastal state–“

MOM: “OOH! You should make it Hawaii! I’ve always wanted to go there. You know they filmed that show LOST in Hawaii. But then you couldn’t use the name Sawyer. Hey! Now you can change that too! I always liked that doctor Jack–“

ME: “MOM! It can’t be Hawaii because Raphael is a long haul truck driver and that’s how Sawyer gets to Nebraska to live with his grandfather so he can get a basketball scholarship.”

MOM: “Well why does he even need a scholarship? With the price of seafood nowadays the father should have no problem paying for–“

ME: “You know what? Forget it. I didn’t write a book. I made a quilt.”

MOM: “Oh don’t be so sensitive. Tell me what the grandfather’s name is. Something good I hope.”

ME: “GUS.”

MOM: (flinches, thinks and then says) “So SAYWER leaves a man named RAPHAEL to live with a man named GUS?”

ME: “Yes but mom, Gus is awesome. He’s a biker and a southern rock roadie with…bad…ass…tattoos…”

MOM: (near tears) “What happened to my dainty daughter who used to love to read books and write stories and listen to music?!”

ME: “She changed her name to Sawyer.”

About these ads

17 responses

  1. Oh mothers, you gotta love them.

    Like

    August 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm

  2. What’s even funnier is that our entire conversation was in Italian.

    Like

    August 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm

  3. Sharing ideas with family never seems to turn out uplifting, does it?

    Like

    August 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm

  4. Lol! For what it’s worth, I think Sawyer is a great name. And from the 15-odd pages that I forced myself to read of a Jodi Picoult book (it was a gift) I think you did the right thing by not joining her writing group :-P

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 1:48 am

  5. Pingback: Somebody shoot me. | Kids say :

  6. You should write a book based on conversations you have with your mother about all the things you do. You could call it… something… my mom says… or something. So anyway, what’s your book about? ;)

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    • Boiled down it’s a story about a teenager named Sawyer who is so desperately afraid of becoming like his father that he leaves home and moves in with his grandfather. Sawyer finds the dad’s yearbook and realizes how much the two of them are alike so he vows to spend his senior year making every opposite decision the dad made, convinced this will make him successful (to Sawyer success is securing an athletic scholarship, something the dad let slip away). The choices Sawyer makes to achieve success aren’t as easy as he thought they would be, and in the end he wonders if it all was worth it.

      As far as my mom goes I am definitely writing more posts about our conversations. I might throw them together as a novella just for fun and see what happens. She’s been in this country over thirty years but still doesn’t understand how our culture functions. It’s a riot.

      Like

      August 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm

  7. Glorious blog!

    Like

    August 29, 2011 at 8:28 pm

  8. Thanks for using the time and effort to write something so interesting.

    My site:
    rachat de credit rachatdecredit.net

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 7:07 am

  9. . . . . at least the conversation gave you writing material?

    Like

    August 30, 2011 at 9:02 pm

  10. You my comrade are a genius

    Like

    August 31, 2011 at 11:17 am

  11. Me

    i would have given up after the second interruption… you’re a trooper.

    Like

    September 1, 2011 at 6:48 am

  12. For a moment there I wanted to have a conversation with your mum, but after actually thinking at not just taking the bullshit that comes out my mouth as what I should actually say, I retract that I want to talk to your mum because it sounds creepy ahaha :P

    Like

    September 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm

  13. ellielawson

    I had a similar conversation recently, which ended as quickly as it started with the words ‘what novel?’. sigh…

    Like

    September 5, 2011 at 7:04 am

  14. Where do you go after getting a creative writing degree?

    Like

    October 14, 2011 at 2:33 am

Lay The Awesome On Me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,131 other followers