Sunday, August 20, 2006

My mother the copyeditor.

We all know that my mother writes copy. She edits copy, too. She buys really bad fiction -- you know, the sort of drek that comes from the racks of airport bookstores -- and reads it holding a red pen. She bemoans crappy editors and wonders where all the really good writers went. She implores me to become a novelist and write my own crappy fiction, insisting that my iterations of hardly palatable prose will be better than what's already out there. But since her requests fall upon my deaf ears, she simply continues to edit the poorly written books she reads.

She used to edit my journals/diaries.

I know this. I know this because I know she used to read them. How? I asked her. Several months ago I accused her of having read the journals I kept in high school. She admitted the atrocity, and claimed that as a mother, it was her responsibility to make sure I was safe. If that meant reading my journals, so be it. I wasn't particularly upset because (1) it was over a decade ago; and (2) my life in high school was anything but interesting. Which is what I told her:

"Mom, I said. "My life is high school was anything but interesting. I wasn't really doing anything."

"I know," she responded. "That's why I stopped reading."

Now, with comic timing being what it is, I know that I should have stopped at that last sentence. "That's why I stopped reading" is a good punchline. Why go on and ruin it? Well, the answer is that I just can't help myself. I'm still in journal-transcription mode, and every now and then I see an odd mark. A quiggly delete mark. An S-shaped, "you inverted your letters, dumbass!" mark. Did I really self-edit my journals after I wrote them? I ponder the situation. And then it hits me.

Like me, my mother couldn't help herself, either. She read my journals, pen in hand, and though I'm sure she tried to stop herself, she edited as she went along.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Musings of a fifteen year old...

Indeed, I am back. Now that I have nothing to do until September 1 (don't ask), I've gone back to transcribing all the handwritten journals I kept when I was younger. Every now and then, if I see something that makes me titter, I will post it for you, my readers:

October 15, 1994

I’m at Molly’s right now. Things have been really weird lately. I don’t know. Maybe it’s teen angst. Or maybe my feelings have been swinging so much because I’m pregnant, but then that would have to be Immaculate Conception, as I’ve never had sex.