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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dead Man's Party

Liam McKenna has finally decided to put his oar in, in the words of Marilla Cuthbert. He's been chatting up a storm lately, until I can hear him as clearly as everyone else. He's...a character, that Liam. More snarky than I realized. He's where Ayden gets her strong sense of fair play and justice. He doesn't like his dad, but then, Eamon's sort of a power-hungry, money-grubbing jerk, so Liam's justified. He worries about his younger brother Seamus, who hero-worships their dad and wants to emulate his tough-guy, indomitable persona. And his future wife, Lucia, scares the crap out of him. She's a feisty and fiery Italian, and she's not scared to get up in Liam's face about his jerk dad. Ayden takes after her more than she does her own parents.

It took me a good hour to figure out the generations and the years that the McKenna family would have to span to come up with one twenty-three years old girl living in the present day with her six brothers! Near as I can figure it, the first Aidan McKenna (you know he's not our Ayden because the spelling is different) was born to Michael McKenna before the Civil War, and then had another red-headed son who was named after him--Aidan McKenna II--and that son made his fortune selling to both sides (he's an Irish merchant who doesn't care much for American politics) to build Halcyon House. Eamon is the son of Aidan McKenna II. Liam and Seamus are his only children, and their mother Maeve died in the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918.

There's a LOT of work going on here, in case you haven't noticed!

But all things aside, I've been scribbling away in my notebook, writing Liam's journal and trying to see how life would've worked for him. I want to see how the families of these two very different people would've interacted. Liam is the son of a wealthy Irish merchant with one brother and a house full of servants. Lucia is the daughter of Italian butcher with four younger siblings and the woman who runs the house when her perpetually ill mother can't. Liam is quiet and keeps his own counsel, while Lucia is going to get up in your face about whatever displeases her. And yes, their relationship does mirror Ayden and Sydney's since I am, as my brother Aaron tells me, completely transparent when it comes these sorts of things. I can't help it, I'm told these things are hereditary. Besides, it's what I understand. I'm no Stephenie Meyer, I can't do heart-stopping, life-changing declarations of love. That's not my forte. What I'm good at, what I do, is funny, snappy, occasionally sincere and emotional banter between intelligent and articulate people.

Also, Ayden and Sydney would each have my head if I made them say something like, "I would rather die then stay away from you." Kill. Me. Dead. They're very opinionated! And very stubborn. If that's how they felt, they'd never admit it in a million years.

On another, happier note, I got The Penderwicks at Point Mouette last Friday...eek!! You will remember from the "NOT the End" entry that I was super-excited for it to come out and now I own it!!!!

*wild, joyous jumping*

One of the main characters is Jeffrey Tifton, who is now my favorite male protagonists in children's literature, right up there with Percy Jackson and Huck Finn (who is much better than his best friend Tom Sawyer). This will be a SPOILER-FREE zone, but at the end of the book, I wanted to give Jeffrey this big ol' hug, I was so happy for him. That's all I'm gonna say!

Over & Out,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Heat

California summers are only any good if one is at the beach, having bypassed the blazing hot sand and poky things inside said sand (who leaves their plastic forks on the beach??!! Haven't you heard of littering, people!) and enjoying the cooling ocean breeze.

Otherwise, they kind of suck eggs, pardon my French. Especially if your house DOESN'T HAVE ANY AIR-CONDITIONING.

Am I whining? Maybe a little. I'm too hot to feel that bad about it. But, besides the heat slowly killing us all, there's not much room to complain. Today, there was a wedding and babies (though the people getting married did not have babies--yet), in that order. (I babysit for a couple from my church and the couple getting married was a friend of Aaron's from high school.) So it wasn't a bad day, by any means. Then there's Fourth of July on Monday and then a family trip to Yosemite on Tuesday! So we've got that to look forward to.

Other than that, there isn't much to say, sadly. Halcyon House is plodding along, and will hopefully see some real progress over the next few weeks. On a housekeeping note, I kind of changed the title to The Summer of Halcyon House, but I'm still calling it Halcyon House out of habit. I think I like the added The Summer of just a little bit better. To me, it seems to describe what goes in the story so much better. Also, it's my take on the oldest story in the book--going away somewhere new for the summer and coming back completely changed...with a romance thrown in along the way. Hey, did you see "This One's for the Girl's" entry? To me, that's the fun part!

Over & Out, Rachel