Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kurt Vonnegut for Six-Year-Olds

I took a break from "Queen of the Pirates" this weekend to drive my wife and kids on a whirlwind tour of the twelve quilt stores in southwest Minnesota. Tammy really likes quilting and seeing her smile was worth it. In one small town I poked around in  a new + used bookstore while the others shopped for fabric. They don't hate Amazon there like new bookstores because Amazon marketplace helps them sell their books all over the world. This was a welcome change. They had a nice selection of kid's books up front, like "Everybody Poops."

The funniest thing was that in the next aisle, due to childish pictures and titles like "Cat's Cradle" and "Welcome to the Monkey House," someone had shelved Kurt Vonnegut in with the Kindergarten through second grade books. I gently broached this subject with the clerk. She's never read him. I informed her that the first story in one collection of shorts involves drugging and raping a woman. They weren't removed because it wasn't her section. (She was the only one in that day.)

We had a nice discussion about what "Slaughter House Five" was about, as well as the deeper meaning of few Stephen King novels. It felt odd explaining books to a person working in a bookstore (kind of like explaining vaginas to a woman), but I felt compelled. When my wife came in, I pointed out the Vonnegut and she also exclaimed that this was inappropriate for people reading Berenstain Bears books. No reaction from the clerk. My son bought a used Animorphs book for the trip home and we left.

We had some great family time, each of us making selections from the iPod jukebox to sing along to. We had a good meal out and candy for dessert. Now the kids are asleep!

Tonight, Tammy is reading over the first 86K words of "Queen of the Pirates". It's reached a plateau for this emperor's plot thread. He holds the enemy at bay while Tashi, Pinetto, and Sarajah race to find people from her new kingdom to save the empire from the Pretender's invasion. I was shocked to see how many pages it is. My newer style is much more aerated by dialogue than twelve years ago. Still, we should have it wrapped up by my edit slot September 10th. I'm already

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