Mockingbird

If you want to elicit a strong reaction bring up Lee, “Mockingbird” and “Watchman.”  I picked up a copy of “Watchman” at a friend’s house.  She grabbed it out of my hand and said, “I haven’t read that yet.”  I asked her why and she said she was afraid to.  I hadn’t read it either but only then did I realize I possessed the same fear.

This was America at it’s finest, including The Noble Prize.  A book about good and evil, sin and redemption.  We still cry when we hear those words.  “Stand up Scott. Your Daddy’s passing.”  Racial injustice during the era when those things were the status quo.  That trial held a mirror up to America and forced her to look.  A story so interquitly woven, full of gentle yet tragic lessons of morality that it gave us hope of change.

Confession and forgiveness and for the evil that would remain, that rabid dog was shot and killed.  Boo Radley, our fears that lie in the darkness, rose up to show it had just been a childish bad dream.  All was right with the world.  Go and sin no more.

The story made us better people as long as men like Atticus Finch existed.  Why, after all these years,  would she ask us to re-examine that summer and fall?  Many of us can’t do it.

Harper Lee was a recluse.  She gave no interviews and shunned the spotlight.  There would be no second book. We were sure and surely didn’t need it.  She and Truman Capote were best friends.  She helped Truman fight his own demons while writing “In Cold Blood.”  A more odd pairing of friendship, I can not imagine. 

Like screaming, “FIRE!” In a crowded theater, someone postulated that Capote, not Lee had written “Mockingbird. ”  “Watchman” had not been written by the same person who gave us Jim, Scout and Atticus, not in that form.

When I asked that question,  I got some strong reactions.  My answer is simple. I don’t have the will or the courage to read “Watchman.”  Like so many other people,  I refuse to desecrate Atticus Finch.  I just can’t do it so my original question was just that, a question because I don’t know.

Miscellaneous

I’m still having trouble sitting up this site. I want to apologize if I offended anyone by suggesting we critique each other’s work. You are still welcome to critique mine. 

I didn’t know until I was in college, eng 101, that I have a learning disability closely related to dyslexia. My professor said my spelling was so bad that I couldn’t even look up words in a dictionary but that in compensating I had become a very good writer.  Also, I’m too competitive academically.  I’d get in trouble for running around the class room to make sure my grade was the highest. He said I was being rude and he was tired of arguing with me over 1 point. He was right. 

I have a strange memory. I can quote almost verbatim a conversation that took place 25 years ago. A professor in, of all places, the literature department accused me of cheating because I’d quoted him exactly on an essay exam. One of my Psychology professors had to explain my situation to him, then I had to demonstrate as I stood there. All’s well that ends well.

That’s a short list of my quirks. There are more. Whatever is in my head will come out of my mouth eventually. I was born without a filter. I suppose my strangest behavior is this: where ever I am, no matter what I’m doing,  I ask myself the following question. If this were a movie, what would my character do next? Then I do it. Drama Queen. 

We’re all different. I call us artists in waiting and artsy people are unusual. I call that a good thing.

Once again, I would never hurt anyone’s feelings unless they deserved it. None of you have been anything other than nice to me – so far. Haha.

I love this

Criticism

I’ve written a couple of things I thought were good (if edited) and several posts that were, in my opinion, garbage.  I don’t mind criticism.  I think we could all do with some constructive feedback.  Otherwise, how will we improve? It doesn’t have to be mean spirited.

I’m a very opinionated person. The subject of other posts is not my business. I’m referring to grammar, form, POV, sentence structure, tense and so on. I know I make mistakes.  I’d be interested in how the rest of you feel.

    Hap Flew Over Town

    Every town has one resident crazy person.  Sorry.  This is not about me.  I fall into a larger, more generic group of weirdos.  This is about our very own Jack Nicholson from Coo Coo’s Nest.  His name is Hap.  He’s been drawn to me since I moved here.  He’s grabbed my breast in the grocery store and screams at me in public.  He cracks me up.  I’ve had to tell him he was unzipped and once that the seat of his pants had ripped open.  Older, more refined Church going ladies get the vapors at the mention of his name.  I seek him out just to wind him up.  People have begged me to stop.  I can’t.  I’m bored and he makes me laugh. 

    Hap is probably in his 80s.  He’s the oldest person I know who cruises town all day.  One day I was sitting on the front porch and he stopped.  He told me he’d been to the doctor.  “Yep, it’s cancer. Doc told me I have a month, maybe a little more.”  I started crying.  That was five years ago. 

    We were in the checkout line in the grocery store when he told the man behind him that I was the town hooker and it was half price Wednesday.  In situations like that, I’ve learned it’s better not to argue with him.  He just gets louder.

    I finally found out where he lived and paid him a social call.  He wouldn’t open the door or come outside so I loaded up his lawn furniture in front of his neighbors.  They loved it.  I went back to get the bird feeder and looked in the window downstairs. 

    OMG.  I was looking through some black hole that sucked me into 1975.  Gold shag carpet, crushed velvet furniture, floor pillows; there’s a big stereo by the wall and a giant console T.V.

    At first I thought I was having a vision because everything looked fuzzy like a mist had engulfed the room.  I looked harder. I wanted to see 1975 again and see it clearly.  Then reality hit me. That was no vision.  That was 40 years of dust. You’d need a hazmat suit to go in there. It looked untouched aside from layers of dust. A memorial to better times.  Hap had a museum room.  Makes me very curious about what else is in that house.  Guess I’ll have to go back.

    KRAZY KHRISTMAS

    Christmas has never been a holiday I anticipated or associated with warm home and hearth feelings.  While most of you illuminate your homes inside and out, I prepare “Churchill” style, as in going dark in preparation of a Nazi air blitz.  I turn out the lights, pull the drapes shut and pray the bombs will miss me.

    This year my best friend’s daughter is in the middle of dismantling a 15 year marriage.  Divorces occur in phases.  This one has already divided up the property,  children and dogs.  After being told by a well meaning co-worker that there might be another woman involved the process slipped dangerously into the revenge stage.  Now anything could happen and I’ve been invited to dinner.  At some point during the day there will be a handoff of a minor child which could lead to a face to face, full body armoured S.W.A.T. ready confrontation. 

    I’ve seen this kind of thing before.  It’s not pretty and collateral damage is always a possibility.  Pass the cranberry sauce.  That festive side dish that resembles coagulated blood.

    I think I’ll pass. Merry Christmas and God Bless us one and all.

    A Question

    I’m notorious for Not reading directions.  I’ve never put anything together without having pieces left over. You’d be amazed at what still stands. The same goes for fine print.

    Nevermide that. I got an email from Google+ telling me that my 4000 word story had been taken down because it was considered spam. I had to look up what spam meant. Apparently they considered it a trick to make money but not before some people had shared it.

    This is going to sound crazy but that hurt my feelings and I’m still not sure what it meant. If any of you know, please tell me. Also, not knowing where it went makes me feel like my dog is lost. Thomas Wolfe said that everything we write is an autobiography. Part of my life is floating around New York City. I don’t know why but I feel violated and accused of something bad.

    I just checked and one of the people who shared that story blogs for “Newsoftheworld”. My life or part of it is not just lost in New York City, it’s lost in the World.

     

    I’d appreciate any feedback.