Work was dull, painfully dull, but I guess that’s OK. I’m still sorting through my predecessor’s 2,000+ emails in his inbox to weed out the obviously irrelevant and spammy. Then in the afternoon I had a lot of trouble trying to make changes to our new database, probably a result of bugs rather than anything I’m doing, but I’m not 100% sure. Anyway, it was dull, but dull is OK. I practically counted the minutes until leaving, but ideas for my next writing project percolated up while I was in dull. There was one brief interlude of non-dull, going to inspect the building’s basement, owned by the organisation I work for, but leased to the business next door. It hasn’t been used since COVID started and J wanted to check it was OK and took me along too, which was good as (aside giving me a break from dull), it shows that he’s planning on having me around for the foreseeable future, although I’m still technically freelance and employed on a day-to-day basis.

***

I’m not sure whether to continue reading We Need to Talk About Kevin. I’m not quite a third of the way through. I knew it would be dark; it’s narrated by the mother of a school shooter. But it’s also written with a lot of metaphor and simile. It’s made me feel self-conscious about how little I use metaphorical language in my writing. My Dad says I “don’t waste a word,” which I guess is the positive way of looking at it. The language and the subject matter combined are making it very heavy-going, even if I can see that it’s objectively well-written and more daring than most novels that deal with tired tropes. “School shooters and the mothers who couldn’t love them even as babies” isn’t exactly up there with “Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again” in the familiar plot stakes. It’s also hard to see where this is going. On page 130 Kevin is still a baby, but we know what he’s going to do, and that his mother doesn’t think he has any reason for doing it other than nihilistic rage at the universe, so I’m wondering what reading the next 345 pages will add.

The other thing is that reading Eva Khatchadourian’s second thoughts about having children is raising currently unanswerable questions about having children myself. E and I both want to have children, but we worry that it won’t be possible, or at least not responsible. We’re two people with the combined salary of about one well-off person, so it’s going to be hard to live together (probably impossible without parental assistance, which is uncomfortable to acknowledge) even without having extra mouths to feed. We each come with a shedload of pre-existing “issues” of our own as well as almost permanent fatigue for reasons we don’t really understand — again, not a great situation to mix in a baby or a toddler (or teenager). The sad thing is, we would both probably make good parents if we can only find a way through all of this before the biological clock chimes.

***

I finished the first season of The Twilight Zone. It was pretty good, although I was surprised by how many comedy episodes there were, most of which weren’t that funny. I preferred the eerie stories to the more overtly science fictional, which surprises me a little. I think I like ghost stories, but have mostly avoided them until now from a dislike to sudden shocks and gore, which are really more horror than ghost stories.

I think my favourite episodes were The Hitch-Hiker (about a woman haunted by a hitch-hiker who always appears ahead of her) and Mirror Image (about a woman encountering her double at a bus station). Judgment Night and Third from the Sun were also very good.

It turned out cheaper to buy the box set of seasons one to five new than to buy seasons two to five second-hand, even taking into account that I had bought season one already, so I’ll probably be staying in The Twilight Zone for a while, especially as the episodes are short so I can fit one in alongside an episode of Doctor Who with E and still not watch too much more than an hour of TV.

8 thoughts on “We Need to Talk About We Need to Talk About Kevin

  1. I think I’ve seen the film version but not read the book. Pushing 500 pages sounds rather excessive.

    Are there many Jewish kids out there needing Jewish adoptive parents if getting things everything sorted and the biological clock aren’t get along?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I assume there are, although I don’t know how many, but Jewish families also adopt non-Jewish children and when the children reach adulthood they confirm if they want to be Jewish or not. That happened to someone in my family.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard of that but didn’t know what it was about. As a former schoolteacher, it would be a tough subject for me to handle. I think it’s too soon for you to decide about children; you’ll have to see farther down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just because another writer is using metaphor and simile doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good match for you/your work. I feel that way about descriptions of scenery or physical appearances of people. Lots of readers/writers are into it, but reading and writing those descriptions bores me. Also, this book sounds like a lot.

    I get it, re: children. I think we’d be great parents if we could work things out and become parents. It makes the not having children, and dimming likelihood of ever having them, that much more infuriating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, “finding my voice” is one of the hard parts of being a writer. I should just let it be, but I worry about doing the “wrong” thing.

      That is difficult about not having children.

      Like

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