Friday, November 5, 2010

Sucking It Up

So two days ago I promised that yesterday I would post an excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel.

I meant to. I really, truly did. I even picked out the section that I wanted to share, which given the fact that I've only written 12,000-ish words, didn't take long.

But then I chickened out. I've never had anyone read anything I've written outside of a school setting. I know I can put a sentence together in all its grammatical correctness and make it technically accurate, though occasionally I throw phrases together like 'grammatical correctness,' but I know it's made up and am choosing to use it anyway. But you guys read this, so I know that you don't mind that, right? The *real* reason I didn't post it is because I can hear my mother's voice in my head, and she's being my mother, which means that she's going through every word I'm writing and asking, "Is that what your childhood was like? Is that me? Is that you? Who is that?" because she's my mother and she always overanalyzes things.

It's just who she is. I get that. And to paraphrase one of my favorite movies, she's the voice in my head telling me I can do better. But she overanalyzes.

So now, because I have arguments in my head that will never happen in real life, I am trying to negate any arguments by telling myself, "Be the duck." Let it all roll off. Ignore the fears which are probably unfounded, anyway.

And post the blamin' excerpt!

So here it is folks, in all its unedited glory. My main character - the narrator - is writing the story of her life with bipolar disorder. In this scene, she's seven years old and is eavesdropping on her parents through a crack in the door as they debate whether or not to take her to see a pediatric psychiatrist.


My mother's silence filled the room, as cold as the fluorescent light above. She disapproved of doctors, and 'Archer' wasn't a good name in her book, I could tell. She judged a lot of a person's character by their name. That's why I was never allowed to have a nickname. On the first day of school, when everyone got to state their preferred name, I never got asked what my nickname was. The teachers knew. My mother had inevitably gotten to them first.

"Catherine," she'd instruct the teachers. "Not Katie, not Cat, not Cathy. Not Marie, either, because that's not her first name, it's only her middle name. Catherine, and nothing else. It's a good name, and I want her to use it."

I had been the only child in kindergarten whose name was longer than the blank on the paper for writing it. It had taken me months to master the spelling.

My father sighed again, and I heard the chair creak as he leaned forward again and started to turn back to his work.

"I'll make the appointment if you like, Martha, to absolve you of any responsibility, but I don't think being firmer is going to do any good. Look at all we've done so far. She has so little compared to all the other the kids her age, we've been consistent with her since she was born, and still she's angry. No. I'll make the appointment, and I'll take her if need be."

My mother straightened, and I readied myself for the dash back to my room.

"No, Frank," she stated flatly, "Since you insist on this course, I'll take her. You can come if you like, but I want to be there to see this doctor for myself."

My father nodded silently, and I vaulted for my room. When I reached it, I shut the door and slid down against it. My thoughts tried to roll themselves around all I'd heard.

Pediatric psychiatry. Foreign words in the English language, I had no idea what it all meant. 'Doctor' was easier for me to understand, and when I put that together with my mom talking on the phone to Pastor Schulz, I knew I'd be going somewhere I didn't want to go. I didn't like being angry or sad all the time, but I didn't think there was anything wrong with me. True, I didn't have many friends at school, but that was nothing to me. It wasn't like I could bring them home, so I didn't really talk to too many people. I'd play games with them, talk to them if I needed to, and come home. It was a ritual. I sensed somehow that this doctor was going to mess things up.

I didn't like change. I decided I didn't want to go to this doctor, and if they tried to make me, well... we'd see about that.


Anonymous said... WILL be posting more right? Because that is just a tease. I'm just sayin' ;) I like it a lot though! Except for the whole unfinished part of it

Kelley said...


I'm very impressed. I want to read more. For cereal. I'm proud of you for doing this!


Sarah said...

Thank you, guys! I appreciate all feedback, but of course it feels good when it's positive!