Tuesday, January 02, 2007

After the holidays

Since I pretty much workout every day, my new year resolution will mean paring my workout schedule with a better diet in hopes of ridding my midsection of the spare tire I've been carrying around throughout the holiday season. That said, I hate to admit that, I did make a late night run to Randall's to pick up a vanilla creme cake. I never keep New Year resolutions.

School's been out the last couple of weeks and with my son at home, I haven't been able to get a dang thing accomplished. Soon's I start sketching, I end up feeling bad about leaving him to play alone or to watch television, so I end up putting my pencils away and playing Hotwheels or Boggle Jr. or miniature pool.

Can you believe, we've actually been fighting over Hotwheels? I've collected Hotwheels since before he was born. Now he loves them, too. A couple weeks ago, we found a rare Hotwheel plane, literally spotted it at the same time. But since I'm taller than him, I got it first. In the end, he opted for a flying helicopter and launch pad instead. But my Poison Arrow plane has been a sore topic with both of us each time he rediscovers it. In fact, funny thing, as I typed this blog, he woke up, walked in saw the airplane on my desk and had a disgusted look on his face which he aimed right at me. Go away, kid! You ain't getting my Hotwheel!

I'm enjoying our time together. We rarely get quality time like this, but with my FARMER deadline looming, I'm getting worried. So, as of today, it's back to sketching. I think. He's home one more week.

I've been reading, Bud, Not Buddy and it's absolutely one of the best books I've ever read — right up there with Black Boy, Native Son and Manchild in a Promised Land, three of my all-time favorites. Christopher Paul Curtis hit a chord with me; I tend to be partial to books with African American male protagonists in fight or flight situations.

Reading Christopher Paul Curtis's work has humbled me. I thought I could write a YA novel, but now I'm questioning that. Curtis has masterfully captured the voice of a 10-year-old black kid and I find myself smiling when Bud-Not-Buddy speaks and says things like "human bean" or "get a holt" or has conversations inside his head about dealing with grown people. And I love it that Bud is not hardened by his life experiences, but still an innocent child, scared of vampires and monsters that might lurk behind unlocked closet doors.

Putting away the holiday
Last night we put away the Christmas tree and our bad excuse for holiday lights. We packed away the wreath and deflated our blow-up snowman. Now life's gonna get back to normal. Normal is subjective, of course.


Gregory K. said...

Don -- reading the work of an amazing, Newbery winning author and then thinking "well, I can't do this" is pretty common. But you can do it, just maybe not at his level (yet). Still, we all gotta aspire to SOMETHING, ya know?

Happy new year!

rindamybyers said...

I liked Bud, Not Buddy a whole awful lot too...I just finished Katherine Paterson's Bread and Roses, Too, about immigrant families, WHAT a story..the lady can still put out the high quality...really something to watch her do it yet once again. And Happy New Year's!