How Doth the Little Crocodile Improve His Shining Tale…

… by editing, polishing, and writing writing writing, of course.

Still, the deal was, I have to keep up this blog, too. So here I am, checking in, with both a life update and thoughts about early literary influences.

My dear white Honda has, in fact, been declared a total loss. I had a pretty serious cry over that. Now I am playing the wait and haggle and wait some more game. Because I only drive manual/stick shift, and because I will settle for nothing less than a Honda Civic, Carmax is having to transfer vehicles in from out of state for me to even test drive. The other driver’s insurance company, meanwhile, has declared my car’s value as less than what it should be, so there’s that bit of fun.  I’m fairly aggravated that I have to do any kind of haggling to get fair compensation for the loss of my vehicle. That’s America, I guess – genuine folks get screwed while sue-happy idiots make millions over a hot cup of coffee. I’m grateful the accident wasn’t worse than it was, though. I have, however, found a car that I think/hope is “the one.” It’s black and shiny and has wonderful fuel economy and an aux in port for the stereo and a sunroof. So I am waiting for it to get here, while I also wait for a response from Progressive about the fact that their estimate is about a thousand too low on my car, and btw they will need to continue providing a rental for me until this gets straightened out.

All while my poor dear car sits, abandoned, able to run just fine, but structurally unfit, at the collision shop. 😦

I don’t know if it’s ADD, or if I’m just so naturally avoidant and slack-assed that I will cling to any distraction I can, but my focus is shot to hell since all this happened. Am trying my damnedest to get it back. Sort of the story of my life, really. But then, something I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that most people don’t actually have it so ‘together.’ We’re all pretty much struggling and flailing and faking it. And maybe the ‘faking it’ part is the key to mastering the rest. After all, the one thing every best seller has in common is that the author actually finished the damned book.

So back to the title of this post (what ADD?). Early literary influences. I’ve always prided myself on my utterly fabulous taste as a youngling. Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl, Madeleine L’Engle – those were my childhood favorites. Adolescence was a little bit of Sweet Valley High, eventually abandoned for my mom’s Harlequins. Around that same time, I discovered Suzanne Vega. I hated Luca, but Solitude Standing blew me away. Somewhere I still have that whole album. On vinyl. Vega’s lyrics inspired me to look at the glimmering details of the world and write about shadows and light and pain and joy. Okay, and maybe teen hormones helped a bit, there. But it was good to have a navigation point amidst all those feels. And ultimately, through all the Duran Duran marysue fanfic (which I didn’t realize was fanfic at the time because I had no idea what fanfic even was), through all the angst and the crush on my piano teacher and the struggles of being a social pariah in a small town high school, I had some really excellent literary and musical taste.

Including the Harlequins.

On that note, I leave you with a combination of two very excellent flavors, Tom Waits and Lewis Carroll:

 

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