Down to single digits left on Wurstbreath…man, we’re in the death march stage, too. I managed to knock out two double-page spreads today, but it’s definitely taking it out of me.

Someday I’ll manage to hammer into my thick skull that this is Real Work and my resulting exhaustion is perfectly legitimate and not a sign of laziness.

Also, someday, I’ll go on that diet and finally read Jane Eyre.

…okay, okay, no, there’s no chance I’ll ever read Jane Eyre. My mother would not stop trying to get me to read it when I was about nine, disapproving vastly of my chosen reading material in frequent and scathing diatribes, with the end result that I vowed one of the great and terrible oaths of children that I would go to my grave without cracking any cover that had the word "Bronte" on it. (Actually, to this day, if my mother recommends a book, the odds are good that I won’t get three pages into it–we have vastly and diametrically opposed taste in reading. I think Harry Potter’s about the only thing we ever both liked. I made a few efforts, but these days, if she recommends a book, it pretty much goes on my never-touch-in-this-life pile. Sorry, Mom. It’s not you, it’s me.) 

On the bright side, I have learned from this experience that if you offer a book to a child, and they say "Oh. Cool," in tones indicating you have just handed them a dead flounder, and set the book down wherever they happen to be standing and leave the room, to let it drop. Pursuit of the matter merely makes them dig in their heels, and they eventually wind up in their thirties with an unreasoning hatred of innocent authors. Other tactics are called for–whoever invented the AR reading lists gets my profound goodwill, not least because Nurk is on them. If you want to get Kevin’s oldest to read, you just say "AR book" and he snaps for it like the beagle going after a dog treat. You have to count your fingers afterwards. Apparently they get an ice cream party or something at the end of the year if they read enough of the things. Bribery, but bribery in a good cause.

Me, it wouldn’t have occurred to me not to be reading, I read as a basic metabolic function (still do) so I occasionally find it odd that I’m doing books that are being pushed for reluctant readers. I mean, it’s great, it’s fabulous, I’m very happy to do it, it’s certainly the most useful thing I’m ever likely to do with my life–I just never saw it coming. I suppose insomuch as I thought about it, I thought I’d be doing clever, sardonic books for adults, with lots of violence and possibly sex if I could write it without turning purple and staring at the ceiling. Didn’t occur to me that I’d be writing books for kids who don’t want to read.

Oh well, never say what spring you won’t drink from, as I think Herodotus might’ve said. I’m staying firm on the Jane Eyre thing, though. I have so few of the great and terrible oaths of childhood left, after all.

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