Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book Week: Favourite books for girls and boys

Okay, I didn't post yesterday. A deliberate choice, actually, and sort of a protest against separating books for girls and for boys.
Yeah, I get that many books are catered towards either gender, but I personally don't think that it's a good thing. I've decided, therefore, to do my favourite books for girls and boys, in the young adult (mid/late high school) category.

Because I feel bad, and because I just finished celebrating Australia Day with my family, I begged Daniela to contribute her favourite books as well.  Alexis gave me some honourable mentions (her favourites overlapped with Daniela's and mine).

Tomorrow, Katerina and Tamara give me some of their favourites (let's just say I'm not exactly reading many children's books now).

Clockwise, from top left:
Looking for Alibrandi (Melina Marchetta)
How I Live Now (Meg Rosoff)
Gallagher Girls (Ally Carter)
The Name of the Star (Maureen Johnson)
Gemma Doyle Trilogy (Libba Bray) 
Chaos Walking Trilogy (Patrick Ness)

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants Series - now called 'Summers of the Sisterhood' (Ann Brashares)


Clockwise, from top left:

Maximum Ride Series (James Patterson)

A Series of Unfortunate Events Series (Lemony Snickett)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Favourite faith-based reads

For today's post, I'm only going with non-fiction. I've gone on and on (multiple times) about my love for Christian fiction, particularly that of the historical persuasion, and I figure it's time for a change.

Apologies in advance for the quickly-made collage - here are my four favourites.

Going clockwise, top left:
1. God's Little Devotional Book For Teens: David C Cook
2. Experiencing God: Youth Edition: Henry T Blackaby & Claude V King
3. The Case for Christ/The Case for Faith [bindup]: Lee Strobel (now out of print in this format)
4. Every Young Woman's Battle: Shannon Ethridge & Stephen Arterburn
As I made the aforementioned quick collage, I realised something.
All of these books (with the exception of Lee Strobel) are aimed at the youth/teen market, a market which I can no longer say I inhabit.
Sigh. Time to upgrade.

Commentary time!
(I'm so sorry about how vague this commentary is; normally, I can flick through my books and it'll remind me of things I really enjoyed about them. However, books are in another state.)

God's Little Devotional Book for Teens: I have no other reason except for the devotional involving Ananias of Damascus, which has been bookmarked so often that if I fling that book onto my bed, it automatically opens to that devotional. That one story, of a man who did something because God told him to - something that, at the time, didn't seem like much in the greater scheme of things. It reminds me that whatever I'm doing, I should be doing it for Christ, and I should be listening to what He's telling me to do. It might seem insignificant to me, but may be very significant to someone else - or to God.

Experiencing God, Youth Edition: We did this as a study at Sunday School with Robyn and the lovely Sunday School girls. At the time, I recall it being quite confronting, and getting pretty annoyed with it. However, over the course of the study, my perspective changed - and my attitude towards my Christian life, too. Definitely worth the read. I also have the adult edition in my room, ready to begin. I intended to start this last year, but Christmas/shenanigans ensued and I have basically just failed miserably at it. Will update on that one as I do it, possibly.

The Case for Christ/The Case for Faith: When I was a teenager, I was not the most fond of Christianity. I was raised in a Catholic home, and my parents were rather relaxed about it. So relaxed, in fact, that when it came time for my brother and I to receive our communion and the like, they decided we could wait, and that the Catholic Sunday School the priest was urging us to attend was not as good as the one we were attending.
I then went to a Catholic school. Disgruntled at how we were being told by priests that the Bible was not completely true, and that things should be taken with a grain of salt, I got mad at Christianity in general and sat in a bit of agnosticism for a while. While this eventually gave way to me giving my life to Christ, I still had niggling doubts. Yay for niggling doubts (she says with her sarcasm hand aloft)!

I think it was at a youth group auction (end of year shenanigans) that I first came across the youth edition of The Case for Christ, and it helped clear up a lot of my niggling doubts - or, if it didn't give me complete assurance, I was able to pinpoint more doubts and ask Robyn about them so she could help me clear them up. She recommended reading the adult version, and as Koorong had it with The Case for Faith, I read both. I'm not hugely familiar with many apologetics studies, but I did enjoy these and found them helpful.

Every Young Woman's Battle: Oh. My. Gosh. 
If there is a book that I intend to foist on every young Christian woman out there, this is it. Seriously, if a crazy person comes up to you and gives you this book, don't worry. It's just me. BUT YOU SHOULD READ IT. 
(I've written about this book before - link here - but what I can also say now is that it sure beats sneaking into your brother's room and stealing the guy's copy because you're really not sure what else to do.)

There we are for that! If anyone has recommendations for me in this area, let me know. I'm always up for new things to read. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I'm Reading

Over the next few weeks - basically, when I get my act together - I'm going to be slowly migrating over to Wordpress. It's the next step in mastering All The Internet, and being able to add all my customised shebang to make my work look pretty. Tentatively, you'll be heading to (trying to consolidate all the things).

In an attempt to become more organised, I've been checking out a wide variety of home-making blogs. 

I am the least organised person that could possibly exist. Actually, scratch that; where my computer and phone are concerned, I am as organised as could possibly be. In my physical possessions? No. Not at all.

Anyway, one of the blogs I stumbled upon was the delicious Jones Design Company, and while I loved all the pretty pictures and Things I Could Theoretically Do, I found something that was far more up my alley.

A Book Week Link-Up.

So, of course I stumbled upon this when the week was almost up, but what I'm going to do is do this in reverse order. Below this post, I shall post links to my other bookish posts, which shall come out once a day for the next week.

Click the picture at the end of this post, and you'll be able to see all the other readers that have joined in this link-up.

And now, Tash, you can get to the actual point like a proper writer would.

I'm imagining my lovely bookstore buddies gasping at me in horror, but as of late I've actually been reading on my phone. I use Bluefire, Kindle and iBooks. Kindle is great for free books (Pride and Prejudice has been getting a re-read thanks to the enormously wonderful Lizzie Bennett Diaries, which you should all be watching - that link will take you to the entire playlist). Bluefire, for my ebooks bought from Koorong. iBooks? PDFs, and books that I have stolen from friends. 

On my iBooks and Bluefire apps, I've been reading Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series, for what would be the five hundredth millionth time (if my grandmother's taught me anything, it's that Chileans are allowed to exaggerate). 

I'd take a picture, but... it's weird to do that on a phone without it looking odd.
They're your typical Christian fiction, but something in me always enjoys reading these books, especially around Christmas. If you're looking for something light and in the Christian romance genre, go for it. They're set in the American pioneer-era (I cannot, for the life of me, remember actual dates). 

In addition to these (because I am physically incapable of reading one book at a time), I have also been reading an actual proper book with pages and things! Or, I should say, I read an actual proper book.

And along with a picture, you get a delightful shadow (yes, that is my handand my phone).
I bought this after an interview, knowing I had an hour on a train ahead of me. There's a discount bookstore in the Valley train station, and I made sure I had time before my train left to have a bit of a hunt.
Result? This book, for the astonishingly low $9.99.
Sarah-Kate Lynch is a New Zealander (so close enough to home that I feel like I'm reading local fiction). The prose in this isn't high-brow, but the story's nice, and I did find myself getting lost in it. The train ride from Brisbane to Robina went pretty fast. And, unlike most chick lit, the ending wasn't entirely predictable. It's described as a novel "in the delectable tradition of Chocolat" (another book I need to read), and the Tuscan surrounds made me feel like I wasn't heading through Beenleigh and Logan with a screaming baby in the carriage.
In addition, the old widows were brilliant. I want to be an old lady like them.

Time to link up! Click the picture below to check out Emily's read (yet another I need to start on), and what her readers have been devouring. Then, over the next week, below will be steadily updated with links.

what i'm reading

Tash's Book Week links

Day 1: What I'm Reading
Day 2: Favourite faith-based reads
Day 3: Favourite books for girls
Day 4: Favourite books for boys
Day 5: Favourite books for baby (or, my favourite books as a kid)
Day 6: Winter series
Day 7: Summer reads

note: the last two are random categories I've made up so as to get a full seven days out of this.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

About The Toes

This is a piece I wrote for uni, which has since been polished a tad (though if I really put my mind to it, I'd spend my whole life editing what I've written). As part of my Novel and Memoir course, I decided to write about the man who never fails to inspire me, and steal a bit of Sedaris' style in the way he rambles.

Upon assembling my portfolio a few nights ago, I came across it again (of course, my stories never have the correct titles as their save names, so I opened it going, 'What on earth is this going to be?'). Here it is, for my lovely readers. I know I abandon you way too much. Don't forget about me, please!

About the Toes

My mother apparently told my father – before she had the real notion of dating him, that ‘young kid’ who couldn’t really speak English – that she refused to stay in the city forever. She was from Tallimba, a tiny town out in the middle of nowhere that breeds spiders as large as horses and thistles with points on all sides that’ll puncture a tyre if they have the inclination to. Tallimba is mostly red, with greying trees dotting the horizon, and with a dam that’s a murky haze of blue and brown with sticks floating lazily on the top. The only real colour out there comes from her mother’s roses, and they have patches of brown lurking on the leaves, just waiting to conjure the pinks and oranges into their monotonous outback palette. My grandparents, too, have conformed to a sepia-toned life – my grandmother’s flowered housedresses are crafted in muted browns, while the colours in her husband’s neatly pressed trousers and shoes match the rusting tin found covering his work shed.

My mother must have tired of sepia with flashes of russet, tired of the people she’d met who were all one and the same. When she turned 16, she fled to Sydney to find someone different, to find something new. Unimpressed by greys and blacks, she decided to move further along the coast.
She was with my father in a pub one night, and it was there she told him about the town she had decided to move to. It was a place called Wollongbar. “My grandmother lived there,” she said. “It’s nicer than here, because there’s grass and water and the people are better.”
My father, having grown up in Santiago but occasionally visiting his grandma on a farm out in Concepción, liked this notion of a place with grass and water. (He liked my mother more than he liked that notion, however, but wisely decided to keep that to himself.) My mother eventually chose him as her ‘someone different’ (she couldn’t see a similarity between her father and mine, and decided that this was for the best). They had been married for 5 years before hauling my brother and I to Wollongbar.

It’s small, and certainly green. No matter where you go, grass is the preferred floor covering. They recently built a new bypass through a paddock, and as though to compromise for the wide expanse of bitumen now plonked where there were once cows and the occasional horse, they made the dividing wall – highway to bypass – from grass. Rather than roads commanding space and demanding that trees move for them, the roads snake around trees and hills politely. You physically can’t get to the shops without traipsing through grass. My father hated that. He fully embraced his new ‘country’ lifestyle when we moved, as though this move was the thing that set him apart from other Chileans in their quest to become Australian. He went driving around the little towns near our little town to find a proper Akubra hat, an act my mother was slightly horrified by. He bought a pair of thongs and hid his sneakers in the wardrobe, carefully encased in layers of plastic so spiders wouldn’t think to hide in them. He decided he wanted to become a farmer, and that we should buy some cows and take them to market. (Thankfully, my mother is a pragmatic woman and also frightening when she wants to be, so there were no cows in our backyard.) However, when it came to walking to the shops of a morning, when the grass was lusciously dewy and the magpies were coming out to warble on the power lines, Dad preferred to drive.
“But it’s a five minute walk,” my mother protested. “You just walk along the highway and cut through a paddock. How hard is that?”
“If it’s a five minute walk, it’d be a one minute drive,” he said, possibly thinking he could drive through the paddock to avoid the grass.
“You’re not taking the car. Honestly, Mauricio, just walk. Take the kids with you.” She gestured at us – probably wrecking all her good furniture, if her retellings are anything to go by – and returned to her book.
So Dad took us to the shops, shoes tightly laced and hats jammed on our heads, legs pale from years of being encased in Sydney smoke. We toddled along the highway, passing the twenty-or-so cars that we’d later describe as “lots of traffic”. And Dad’s step began to falter as we reached the paddock and as the footpath stopped.
My brother and I didn’t care, and we continued on through the paddock. Our sneakers were wet? They would dry. Grass seeds were caught on our neatly rolled socks? Mum was magic, so she’d probably get them off.
Dad, however, cared a lot. His brand new thongs were shiny, and he hadn’t lost enough of his city ways to not care about that. His toes were also dry. He liked dry toes. But he carried the wallet, and his wife was waiting at home for some bread and eggs. So, he stepped into the paddock, toes curled upwards, and tried to flee through the grass whipping around his knees.
Chris and I were prancing around in the car park, being the idiot children we were, when we saw our father approaching. The upward-turned toes method hadn’t worked, and he had (inexplicably) thought to inch across the paddock on tip-toe. Chris and I stared at him, all prancing forgotten, as his toes dug into the red dirt beneath the grass; each step looked as though it was causing him more pain. Worse, he had to go back through the paddock to get home, and the look on his face showed that he had also realised this fact.
When he finally reached us, we silently reached for his hands, and went to buy our eggs and bread.
Fifteen years later, he still has not gotten past this, and he gleefully bought a pair of steel-capped boots to brave the paddock. That, combined with an old pair of soccer shorts, his Universidad Catolica de Chile shirt, and his floppy sunhat (the Akubra mysteriously vanishing a year after he bought it), has led to vast amounts of amusement on all our parts.

I came home for a week recently, and Dad decided to take me to the beach. Lennox Head’s beaches have so many blues that there aren’t words to describe them. My father is the only male I know to own more shoes than I do, except that his shoes are actually useful rather than purely purchased for aesthetic reasons, and the day we went to the beach he wore a pair of grey mesh water shoes. I hadn’t seen a pair of those since he’d forced them on me as a child. “Shoes at the beach?”
He didn’t respond, but kept squelching along on the wet sand, dodging the waves.
“What’s the point of going to the beach if you’re going to wear shoes and not go in the water?”
He shot me a glare. “You know exactly why.”
Of course, there was only one outcome. I hooked my arm in his. “It’s nice to be down home,” I said, casually veering deeper into the water.
“I’m glad you’re back.”
“The water’s nice.”
And a wave came, soaking Dad to his knees.
I might have gotten dunked in revenge, but watching my father gingerly step across the sand on tiptoe as he futilely attempted to drain his shoes made everything worth it.

Of all the things my father protects, his toes take the cake. For reasons I still don’t understand, he feels the insane need to protect everyone else’s toes. I remember the look of horror he gave me when I returned home from a day in the park across the road from our new place. Maybe he suspected the park was laden with syringes and I’d come home, doped to my eyeballs and with HIV, but all that happened was my feet were covered in the Northern Rivers’ trademark volcanic dirt. I bounded inside, and Mum rolled her eyes. “Oh, go wash your feet.”
Dad stared at my feet. “How did they get so… dirty?”
“She’s a child, Mauricio, they’re meant to get dirty.”
The next day at the park, Dad accompanied me. He wore sneakers, with laces tied in a complicated knot that only he knows the method for. He had, much to my disgust, crammed my feet in my own sneakers, complete with frilly socks. “Your feet won’t get dirty this way,” he explained. “Your toes can stay clean.”
My mother, after seeing me leave the house like this one too many times, hid my sneakers.

He gave me my first pedicure, having had to paint his mother’s nails frequently as a teenager. “Don’t your nails look nice?” he said, gesturing to the red polish. “You don’t want to ruin that.”
Seeing my nails chipped in two days seemed to physically pain him.

But, despite my mother’s original reluctance to date my father, their eventual marriage seems to be something that works – and not only because they’re so different they cancel each other’s weirdness out. Dad and Mum went to visit her parents in auburn Tallimba with the Acromantulas (“Tash,” Mum sighs as I read this to her, “you sell this place so well”).
One morning, Dad walked into the kitchen to see my grandpa sitting by the open fire. Dressed already in slacks and a white button-down shirt, Grandpa was putting on shoes and socks. Dad stared, awed. Despite being a farmer since he was 14, Grandpa’s feet were lily-white. As he rolled on his thick socks, he met my father’s gaze.
“Don’t like things getting on my toes,” he said quietly.
Dad looked down at his own feet, in pristine white sneakers that wouldn’t stay that way for long. “Yeah, I know what you mean.”

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A ramble about God and his teaching

Two days out from Christmas, and I usually wake up feeling pretty happy. Not wistful, like I did this morning. I had rolled over, picked up my phone, and noticed I'd slept later than I planned. Then, rather than getting out of bed and making the most of the hour I'd almost slept through - or a the very least, pick up my Bible and finish off a couple of readings - I turned back over and hid under blankets.

In my warm cavern, I knew exactly why I was feeling like this. Hopes get raised, you let yourself get unnaturally excited - and then the things fall through. It's a pattern that everyone would be used to (or at the very least have experienced). I curled deeper under the blankets, wanting to sit and wallow. My mother used to howl at my teenaged self for wallowing when I was in the throes of depression, so I knew it probably wasn't the best option. But for once this year, especially seeing as it's nearly over, I felt like dwelling on just losing something - again - that I thought would come to pass by now. I deserved an epic time of wallowing, and my gosh, I was going to wallow and it was going to be glorious.

God, however, had other plans for my extreme wallowing session. As I lay there, possibly scowling at the body pillow I had shamelessly pilfered from my father's room, I remembered verses I was reading last night. It wasn't a case of "open Bible and pick verse that makes you feel better about the situation without any Godly guidance" (something I was guilty of doing as a 15 year old). Last night's reading was a set of Psalms, with a Proverb as well.

The Psalms, I can't remember where I started and where I finished. But as I read - these were Psalms I'd clearly gone over before, considering how little space there was to underline - one verse just sung out to me.

He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord! 
Psalm 113:9.

Searching for it right now, the NLT seems like it fits me more.
He gives a childless woman a family, making her a happy woman. Praise the Lord!
When I was younger (and only a few years ago, when I count back), I didn't want anything with family and children. I would be suave, would marry when I'd had a chance to travel and work on an illustrious career as a writer, and definitely wouldn't be having children - I mean, really? Why do it? The guy I had in my head as marrying was definitely not interested in children either. We would, much to my father's distress, live a life without children, and it would be pretty fun. Even as a child, I don't recall wanting to start a family the way I remember my cousins did. I remember looking at my height in comparison to a baby's and going, "Well, that's just too small. What is it going to do if it's that small?"
Yet almost overnight, this changed. I suddenly wanted this, and the only way I can see it is that God wanted it for me. Robyn - my lovely Sunday School teacher - used to tell us that God would work in us as we grew in Him, and that our desires would change to reflect His desires for our lives.
Last night, God was reminding me of that. This morning, He did the same. It's going to happen, daughter. Be patient.
Upon occasion, I regret asking God to teach me patience. I regret not being specific and asking him to teach me it in a textbook manner, rather than by experience. This was one of those times.
I don't want to wait, I protested. I want it now. SIAGAUONGONAIJOWR,QPWOMOIM. (Yes, I now frustratedly-babble as though I'm slamming my head against a keyboard. It's a fun way of doing things.)
No reply at this point. I closed my eyes, really not wanting to get out of bed. But I did. I dragged my feet out, reminded myself that in lieu of church this morning, I would be listening to music and praising, and I would be getting my heart in it.
I opened my phone, and the last app open had been YouVersion, still sitting there glowing at me. And the verse there?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

One that most every Christian would have engraved on their hearts. But God reminded me of it again. Trust me. Rely on me. Things will happen when they're meant to.

The awesome thing about God is that His timing is always perfect. The frustrating thing is waiting for it sometimes. But patience, they say, is a virtue - one that I am lacking. (I mean, it's a complete shock to me that I still haven't opened Trina's Christmas present to me, considering how it's meant to make me fangirl. Which makes me think God's slowly cultivating patience in me. Huh. Nice to see things growing, when I consider it.) Time to start praying that I stop being a goose, and just let God have it. In my far-future (which is probably where family and all that come); in my near, where I wonder if I'm meant to stay in Brisbane or go to Melbourne, or if I'm even meant to continue studying. All of it is His.

Why? Because He is truly amazing, and learning from experience has shown me that if I keep a hold of my problems, I just freak out all over the place. Best to give it to the Father who knows all.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Communication is a strange and lovely thing.
At the moment, I am craving it. I find I crave communication less when I'm in Brisbane, where it's busier. Still, in two weeks Daniela finishes school, and this will keep me sane for the ensuing two weeks I'm stuck down in Ballina.

Because it was playing on my mind, the conversation naturally turned to communication tonight at dinner. Tata, moaning about how he wouldn't always be my favourite person in the world, prompted a sharp smack from Nana.
"But it'll happen soon!" he protested, rubbing his arm where Nana's talons had connected. "She's twenty now, vieja, and she's been away from Brisbane for two days and is already missing it."
"Ay, viejo, stop it. There are different sorts of affection," she retorted. "She loves you like a granddaughter is supposed to love a grandfather. Of course you're not going to be her favourite forever."
Tata scowled.
"And niña," she said to me, "if you miss your friends, call them. You have a phone, no?"
"I don't usually talk on the phone."
"I can talk in person." Occasionally. When I'm comfortable. When I'm not overthinking my idiocy. "I text."
She sighed, and pushed some flan towards me.
"I don't like texting," Tata announced. "I do it because you do it, nieta, but that's the only reason."
"Niña," said Nana, "what do you expect to do when a boy wants to talk to you?"
"Don't give her ideas, vieja!"
"What if he's far away?"
"I suppose I won't hear his voice for a while," I said, "not until I see him."
Nana whirled to face Tata. "Ay, amor, listen to her."
"I'm okay with what she says."
"When your Tata and I were - ¿como se llama, niña? - dating? We were far away. I wanted to hear his voice all the time."
Tata didn't reply, instead choosing to dig into his flan.
I chose to change the topic.

On the way home, I asked Tata about how he preferred to talk to Nana when they were dating.
"She lived in Concepción, and I lived in Santiago," he said. "I couldn't really call her, not often. I did. But I would write her letters."
"Did you prefer to write letters?"
"Of course not, niña," he replied. "Then again, it was easier to convince her I was brilliant that way. I wrote a lot of lies."
"Well, not lies exactly," he said, for once remembering to put his indicator on. "But you write, and you remember it differently, with more heroics in the story. Then you reread it and you realise you wrote complete bull."
"But you send it anyway?"
"Por supuesto."
I asked him how they met.
"She was walking past me," he recalled. "Visiting someone, I remember, someone I knew. My friend stopped to say hi, and I met your grandmother."
"So how'd it continue, then?"
"I agreed to go dancing to impress her."
"You can't dance."
"Yes, but I was a stupid boy who did something I despise doing so I could make a girl fall in love with me."
"When did you fall in love with Nana?"
He turned to me. "The third time I looked at her."
"The third?" I clarified, wondering if he was toying with his expressions as he's so fond of doing.
"The third. I knew by the third glance."

In my family, communicating is a big thing. My Nana will steal my phone every time she sees me, flicking through the photos, demanding backstory on every person there. ("Y la Katrina? How is her job? Who is that boy? Where is this? Does this person live in Brisbane with you? How did you meet people from the Sunshine Coast?") We are loud and crazy, speaking over each other in English and Spanish and Spanglish. I am the most quiet in my family, it seems, though the loudest when I'm not overthinking. But as a result, I don't  share much with them unless prompted, or unless dealing in the written word.
In comparison, the other half of my family - the farming family, my mother's family - are quiet. Conversations with Nana on the phone are rife with questions about every single thing in my life; those with Grandma, on the other hand, will inevitably start and end with the weather. One question, that is it. We don't say much; we write more, perhaps, but still with an extremely stiff upper lip, one that I'm still not used to adopting.

When I am by myself and communication is lacking, it surprises me how often my conversations with God are held aloud, and how often I'll triple my conversations with Tuscany. Those two don't judge my stumblings and meanderings; perhaps that's why I stick to texting instead, because I can edit my words far easier.

But my conversation with Tata shows me something - when you're speaking in a foreign language, the literal is beautiful. "I knew by the third glance," he said. To me, there's something absolutely gorgeous in that.

God is amazing for creating languages, for giving us that longing to be heard and to share.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Just a spot of story.

This morning I was playing on my laptop and listening to Rick Astley. 
But anyway. Was playing on the laptop, listening to the Astley, and decided, "Hey. I might write something that isn't an assignment!"
So here you go. Very silly, very short, but I do also need to get out of bed and do things.

I don’t remember why I agreed to this.
I’m panicking.
I mean, if he likes me and decides that he wants this infernal thing to continue then I’m going to have to marry the guy because there’s not a chance on this sweet sweet earth that Nana will let me get out of it and then I’m going to have to escape my own wedding to flee to Mexico and start a new life under a new name –
Carmen, calm the flip down.
Though it is probably still best that I have my getaway name planned. There’s no way I can pull off any South American or, eugh, Spanish accents, but that doesn’t stop me from pretending I’m the love child of two hippies in the Australian bush somewhere.
I turn to look at Lorena. “Chakra Sunrise Bloom.”
“Are you high?”
“No. It’s my getaway name.”
“Okay. One, you have getaway cars, not getaway names. Two, it’s a little early to be thinking about your escape to Mexico. Yes, I know you have an escape to Mexico planned,” she says in response to my wounded look. “But there is every likelihood you’ll say something ridiculous and he will want the getaway car.”
“What? I’m a perfectly lovely person.”
“You do have the tendency to blather on about directors and films that no one has heard of. That’s another thing – don’t subject him to your idiotic rambling about Bollywood movies. Yes, I know there are so many genres within Bollywood, and that no one appreciates that, but something else? That never improved my life the way you thought it would. I daresay he’s in the same boat.”
Younger sisters. They go out a few times before you do, and suddenly they’re the ones slinking into your room and offering advice before you date.
Then again, it could be vastly worse. It could be my mother in here offering advice.
Or Nana.
“Where is Nana?” I say, just to be on the safe side.
“She’s coming over for dinner, so she’ll be here when you get back.”
Suddenly, fleeing to Mexico becomes appealing for so many other reasons.