Thursday, September 29, 2011

Drama Dilemma

Last night Child # 1 was sassy.  She was rude to her father, insulted her brother and slammed her bedroom door.  When I went to talk to her she was curled up on the bed, glowering.  She is a skilled glowerer, just like Edward the vampire.
Child #1 totally out-glowers this guy.

Now, some of you may think this is headed towards a 'pity me I have a tweenage daughter post' but it's actually a 'pity my daughter she has a writer mother' post. 

I ignored the glowering and sat down on the bed.  "Sometimes it feels like there's something dark inside of you, doesn't it?" I said.  "I know you are a good, kind person but I also know we all have a dark side.  The dark side wants us to say mean things.  It wants you to hurt the people you love and push everyone away.  When it does that, it wins.  Child # 1," I implored.  "You have to fight!  You have to fight against the darkness within.  You can't let it win." 

Ten minutes after I left her room she tiptoed down the stairs with tears in her eyes.  "Mommy," she said.  "I've thought about it and that's exactly how it feels.  I'm not going to let the darkness win." 

We hugged.  We kissed.  I put her to bed and was in the process of congratulating myself on a successful parenting moment when I realized that the language about darkness, fighting and everything else was ripped straight from my book.  Persephone, the main character of Losing Beauty, is in a constant battle with the dark presence in her soul.  Here's a brief snippet from the book so you can compare and contrast writer language vs mother language:

"She felt the dark thing hidden inside of her convulse, as though it was angry too.  She gave into it, letting her eyes sear into his, calling to all of his inner darkness."
and in case you still don't believe me, here's another one,
"All her life, she’d known it was there—calling to the worst parts of other people.  She had controlled it.  She had refused to acknowledge it.  Now, she realized she’d spent a lifetime pretending the horror contained within her didn’t exist." 
Poor Child #1!  She has the bad luck to hit her tweenie years at the same moment I'm writing a series of books about a woman tortured by her inner darkness.  I sense a lot of dramatic inner darkness conversations in her future.  Although, I guess she could have hit it worse.  I could be writing a book about monkeys or space aliens.  Come to think of it, maybe she hit it perfectly, because what tween doesn't love a healthy dose of drama right before bedtime.   


Michael Di Gesu said...

Congratulations mom!

You are one sharp cookie not letting the emotions take over and looking at this logically.

Me... I would of stormed up the stairs and laid into her... I guess that inner darkness comes of me sometimes... lol.

The excerpts are a perfect example of dark, inner feelings. Well done.

Congrats on the book, too.

Sarah Tokeley said...

Look on the bright side, at least it was your own words and ideas you were using :-)

Johanna Garth said...

Thanks Michael!

Sarah, good point!

Tamara Narayan said...

Hello! I came over from CQG's bloffee blog.

I say kudos for reaching out and trying to see the situation from your daughter's point of view. I wonder if this would work on my two daughters (ages 5 and 7). The fighting has really ramped up since school started again.

Pame Brennan said...

I think Mama did an AWESOME job. I would just bet that the lesson/your words stay with her forever!

Working on Losing Beauty was a wonderful pleasure! I am excited to see your next work!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Wow, I'm impressed that Child #1 actually accepted and embraced your advice! I think my oldest (I call her Dread Daughter #1) would have caught on that I was pulling from my writing and called me out on it!

Johanna Garth said...

Hi Tammy, thanks for stopping by. My take would be that it never hurts to try.

Pame, THANKS, and thanks so much for the amazing editing on Losing Beauty

Dianne, I think I only pulled this one off because my little girl is still too young to read my work! Thanks for stopping by.