After posting a visit with Miss Birdie back on Halloween, I found myself taking a notion to spend some more time with her and read her book -- The Day of Small Things. Of course I've read it before -- many times -- while I was writing it and re-writing it and proof-reading it over and over. But none of these are the same as just reading for fun -- with the writer/editor eye turned off. And enough time had passed that, at times I could forget I'd written it and just read . . .
I was so pleasantly surprised that I picked up Signs in the Blood and read it. It was better than I remembered, if I say it myself. Again there was that strange disconnect between reader and writer -- I kept coming across little family jokes and little odds and ends that are parts of my past . . .
As I always say, Elizabeth isn't me -- but we share a lot -- Little Sylvie's cabin next door . . . the dogs . . .
She and Phillip sat on my blue bench . . .
Old Wounds gets very close to my world -- Elizabeth and family live in this barn while they are building their house in 1984 -- just as my family lived in it in 1974 while building that same house . . .
(I hasten to add that, unlike my unruly Elizabeth, I was never tempted by a charming neighbor -- nor by a bed-room eyed snake handling preacher either.)
And sometimes I kind of expect to hear mariachi music floating from Justin and Claui's house -- home to Elizabeth's Mexican farm hands Julio and Homero in Under the Skin.
Rereading these books was a surprising experience in that I became the reader not the writer and I kept finding myself thinking, Why, that's just the way I'd say that or That sounds familiar only to realize suddenly, Well, duh . . .
I also realized that I am now closer in age to Miss Birdie than Elizabeth (who was ten years younger than I when the first book came out in 2005. )
It was an interesting experience, reading right through those books that took over six years to produce -- reading right through them in less than two weeks.
I've moved on to two more series -- binge re-reading -- and I'll talk about them another time.
Meanwhile, I apologize for the sudden appearance of that wretched Word Verification in the Comments -- Blogger is messing with me again. My settings are set at NO Word Verification but there it is. However, several folks have told me they just ignored it and their comments posted anyway . . .
Mysterious are the ways of Blogger . . .