So, I’m sure that the block I had today is because I knew I had to tie in the character of Teenie Alexander’s mom — and I knew that would be hard to do because she has been like an antagonist in the background?
I could have lead with the puppy Devlin just got, but? —
what showed up was T’s mom and more backstory
today @ 1380 w/c and total is 33,325 right now…
an excerpt on Teenie’s mom and her depression here:
It seemed to Teenie that ever since her dad had gone her mom had just closed up like a book that somebody had finished reading.
They almost never talked anymore at all, and her mother looked so
grey. Most of the time she looked like a day full of rain, as if all the life was just gone from her. Teenie wished she could have told her about Devlin Underwood but as usual she’d been curled in that little ball asleep on the sofa so Teenie had gone to Mr. Honeygarten’s instead. She’d just really wanted to tell somebody about Devlin because it was really important. But at her house, it was so quiet all the time. Teenie looked up at her old house on the hill and remembered all the parties her parents used to have.
All the people who worked at the newspaper in the village used to come over and everyone brought big platters of food and she thought about her parents and how happy they had looked when they were dancing. When everyone was dancing.
Teenie had just slipped out of the house quietly when she saw her mother asleep. Had she known what her mother was going to do though? Teenie would never have gone at all.
* * *
Jax, why did you have to leave me? Teenie’s mother thought as she looked at herself in the bathroom mirror. Her face was pasty and too pale in the early morning light that came through the white cotton curtains. She’d taken a very long bath that morning. Teenie
had gone out and so she had plenty of time to think and cry because Teenie was gone. She’d had to put on a very strong face for her daughter even when she was falling apart on the inside.
Why is my life so hard? she’d thought, as she slipped into the water. Jax, why did you leave?
It made Teenie’s mom both sad and angry that he was gone. “My nerves are like glass,” she’d told the doctor. “Let me give you some of these, he’d said. “And these.”
The pill bottles were all over the house. She’d been given so many different types that even she couldn’t get them straight. Most of the time she floated around as if she were a zombie. It was really hard to focus on anything.
The doctor hadn’t really bothered asking her why she was so sad. He’d just called it a depression as he made some notes on a little piece of paper and wrote out her prescriptions.
If there were a way to describe what a depression felt like it had to be gray. It had to be where there was no color at all to see anywhere in the world. Some days she felt that she was in the center of a storm like when a hurricane blows through a town and leaves everything just devastated. Some days she felt as if she were being hurled and tossed about at the edges of things — those days felt like tornadoes in her soul, in a way. Or as if she was out on the
edges spinning round and round and round and waiting for the tornado to just drop her off or spit her out, when it felt like it. It was like storms raged in her spirit, but there was no way out. It had become obvious to her that Jax might not be coming back.
This passage was incredibly difficult to write but, it contains like I said, the pathos in the novel which you need to show in order to understand the crux of the novel — which is love?
onwards…. and back to Devlin’s little puppy!
* * *
“Wake up, sleepyhead,” Devlin’s grandmother called from just outside his door.
Devlin turned on his side and suddenly realized he had a puppy in bed with him! The puppy yelped as he rolled on it by mistake.
“Hey, little guy,” he said. “Are you okay?”
Devlin cuddled the puppy to his chest and pretty soon it was licking his chin again and pulling at the collar of his T-shirt. Tugging at it and playing like he was going to rip it to shreds.
“Hey, quit that,” he laughed. “Cut that out!”
But it didn’t do much good because the puppy just kept on until Devlin was laughing and rolling around on the bed while it barked and made little lunges at him.
“You nut,” he said. “What am I going to do with you?”
“Come on downstairs, Devlin. I have breakfast ready. Have you decided what to name him yet?”
“I’m working on it, grandma,” Devlin laughed, as the puppy wiggled and snuggled and cuddled against him.
“You little monster,” he said. But he meant that in a good way, because overnight the bond between puppy and boy had been sealed forever.
“Brownie,” he said. I think I’ll name you after my favorite dessert, because that’s what you look like to me.
“Come on Brownie, he said. “Let’s go get some breakfast.”
“He’s Brownie, grandma!”
Devlin came down the stairs hugging Brownie like he was nver ever going to let him go. He just loved that little puppy with those big sad eyes that never left his.
back at it!