Monday, October 5, 2009

My Brother is Still Kicking My Butt

Three pages a day. If it's good enough for Patricia Reilly Giff and Linda Sue Park, it's good enough for me! I figure if I set out to do three to five a day, I'll be able to come up with a solid two--easy...right? I'm going to also allow myself to adhere to the Anne Lamott SFD (loosely translated, "crappy" first draft) rule.

And here's another brother is completely kicking my butt in the blogging area. Not only is he incredibly prolific, his entries are incredibly not SFDs. keep up with this standard I've set, I need to maintain the 5:15 am start. As I pointed out to my friend, Laura, there is nothing pretty about 5:15.

This morning, I wrote about a page and a half, then went on a quick run to jumpstart the creative juices. So I'm running along the sidewalk in the neighborhood, and I see some kids emerge from the bushes across the street. I recognize a couple of them right away. They are now middle schoolers, but they were once my first graders. Something is up across the street, but being middle-schoolers, nobody is likely to squeal. So the best thing for me to do is to let them know I am on to them. As soon as we make eye contact, a tiny glimmer of panic flares up on their faces, because they know what I do; once you are in my first grade, I am forever your teacher. So I pick up the pace on the sidewalk. "Hi guys!" I call out.

"Hi," they say, nervously, wishing without a doubt they hadn't strayed from their backpacks at the bus stop.

"What's across the street?" I ask, freezing them to the sidewalk with my first grade teacher/Tony Soprano eye lock.

"Oh, nothing," one of them squeaks, weakly. "We just wanted to see what was over there."

Lame excuse, my teacher eyes tell them. Because a couple of them have lived down the street from that swamp their entire lives.

"Your feet must be wet," I say. "I'm sure you won't be going back there again, since it's just a big swamp."

They laugh nervously, trying unsuccessfully to avert their eyes from mine.

"Have a great day at school," I tell them. Don't worry, my eyes say. I'll be by again tomorrow.


Jame said...

I can totally SEE YOU waving and saying, "Hi guys!" The teacher eyes forcing them to internally prepare their confession of guilt!! Imagine having those eyes in both your parents! Man, was I good.

Very quotable the 5:15 aint't pretty thing. I say it all the time now (in my head). That's the Annie Leal quotable quote akin to Annie Lamott's SFD.

Jame said...

I'm struggling with feelings of inadequacy now, too! Your brother is funnier and more prolific than I am. Can you make him stop? Should we, I don't know, duct-tape him to an office chair and hit all the buttons on the elevator before pushing him in?