10/11/10

Doomed Love

177/365 - Lost in the pagesImage by Www.CourtneyCarmody.com/ via FlickrMy twelve-year-old is in love, and it will not end well because the boy is already dead. Actually, he never lived. He is a character in a book she is head over heels about. She can't stop thinking about him. She re-reads his lines over and over. She listens to her iPod and just thinks about him...about how funny he was, about how great he was, about how he never should have died.

This has happened before: Legolas from Lord of the Rings. Oh, how she loved him! Until she met that no-good Percy Jackson, and then that Artemis Fowl. Although I supposed none of them die, so it's not quite the same.

I feel for my daughter. But not because of her lost true love. I feel for her because when you care this much about characters it is really only a matter of time before you start making up your own. And why would anyone want their child to grow up to be a writer: you're rejected constantly, you're underpaid -- if you're paid at all -- and you spend so much of your time in your head that you can't help but ending up a bit narcissistic. Believe me, I know.

Sometimes people say to me, "My daughter wants to be a writer." They say it all flushed in the face, all giddy-like, because they, obviously, are not writers. I always want to say, "I'm sorry, maybe she'll get over that." Because, honestly, wouldn't it be better for everyone if they really wanted to be engineers? Scientists? Farmers? Something a little stable, something that will provide health insurance?

But we choose our poison. Some people choose alcohol. I choose words. I guess I'm not so good at modeling.
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23 comments:

Margaret said...

Just so you know: The book she is enamored with is the YA novel The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. Actually, she loves a boy introduced in the sequel, Catching Fire. She forced me to read them, and I can't remember when I've so enjoyed reading something. They are dark and distopian, which is not my style, but there is this sweet romance that had me going from the get go. Don't even get me started talking about poor Peeta.

Desiree said...

Thank you for answering my question! At first I wondered if perhaps you didn't want to spoil anything for the uninitiated. I've heard about The Hunger Games. I guess it's time to hunker down and devour them--

Jean Spitzer said...

I'm so glad you've spilled the beans. I don't write, but I do read.

And I enjoy YA stuff (kid stuff too). Good is good.

Jean Spitzer said...

I got so excited about your post, I forgot to mention that I worked out the link. It's at my blog.

Margaret said...

Don't worry, Peeta isn't the one she is so obsessed with -- that's me -- so I haven't given anything away in case you decide to read the books.

Word in the Hand said...

Whoever chooses to be a writer? As an avid reader and maker I used to make artists books with other peoples words in; then one night I was woken up to write and haven't really stopped since. And it doesn't even matter if no-one reads what I write.... domed indeed.

Katrinka said...

" Because, honestly, wouldn't it be better for everyone if they really wanted to be engineers? Scientists? Farmers? Something a little stable, something that will provide health insurance?"

Ha, Margaret! Farmers??? Their profession is far from stable and there is no health insurance. Now scientists and engineers, maybe ....

Joanne said...

We'll always need writers, in so many ways. And I can't think of a much more satisfying craft than creating with words. So give her a journal and pen to begin, and don't forget, your daughter will have a great mentor!

altadenahiker said...

My father, an artist initially, sunk his head in his hands when I said, "I want to ACT!" or "I want to WRITE!"

He would have also sunk his head in his hands had I said I wanted to be an engineer or go into management. Those were his ultimate destinations, and he didn't think much of those as professions either.

Rois said...

I waited most of my young years waiting for Aragorn to come whisk me away and I write.Am I doomed?

Good luck with young love.

Petrea said...

I guess I've just got to be contrary, but I think an artistic career is fully rewarding. If it's your heart's desire, nothing else will make you happy and whatever financial hardships you face are worth it. I'm glad my parents encouraged me to follow my own path (though they did recommend I learn to type--something to fall back on, you know).

Shell Sherree said...

Aaah, Aragorn. I still read books and become smitten with some of the characters. Technically it's just as unrequited whether they die or not, but at least if they don't die, there is some hope. Oh, no, of course, not really, it's just a book...heh heh...

Susan C said...

I thought you were going to say that you feel sorry because her next love will be real, not imagined. Now, there's the heartache.

Margaret said...

Katrinka: as a descendent of farmers I know what you mean. I was trying to make the point that writers lives are so insecure that even the insecurity of farming seems alluring. But I guess that part fell flat on its face. Thanks for your comment.

AH: But wouldn't if be great if your driving passion in life led you to the security of a lucrative and attainable profession!

Olga said...

We can give birth to them, but they really are out of our control very quickly. At least you can know she just may have inherited some talent!

altadenahiker said...

yes, it would. But I have yet to productively (or otherwise) channel my desires.

(The farming part didn't fall on it's face. It's standing tall.)

jnrollins said...

Margaret, my 24 year old daughter still falls in love with characters in books or movies. Funny, though, I don't remember falling in love with characters in books when I was 12, even though I had my nose in a book pretty much 24/7 then.

Bec said...

I'll have to check out those books . . . there's nothing like getting totally engrossed in a book. Much of my childhood was spent that way. When my toddler asks me to read a same book over and over, I indulge her - I know life will change when she can read for herself and that's all she'll want to do.

Daisy said...

What a dreary world it would be without writers!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

great hours though, don't you think? (and no uniform necessary)

Georgie K. Buttons said...

That sounds like my little sister. Uh oh...lol. :)

Deb said...

Well, Margaret, I for one am glad that you write! :o) But I can only imagine what a thankless job it can be at times. Love the take on your daughter's romances. You should be glad it's not some video-playing-punk from down the street, eh? xo

... daisy... said...

Dear me! They really say that??? Oh what sadness! I wanted, want and will want (I know it's wrong, but I'm Italian :-D) be a writer and I hope with all my heart that if I have kids, they'll love creativity whatever they dreams may be! Anyway... your daughter has wonderful taste! I was in love with Legolas myself and I was 30!!!!
I fell in love with so many characters in so many books since I was a child and I've never stopped!
Great, you simply are a great mum!!! :-)