Thursday, August 16, 2007

Up early this overcast Thursday morning. Steve was out turning the sprinklers on at 7:30, trying to give our new bushes and the grass a drink before it gets too hot. It was 102 degrees on my car thermometer yesterday. Took a long time for the car to cool down. I wish this heat would end. Our poor little spruce tree we planted out front is looking pretty pathetic. Only green on the very top these days. We may have to replace him.

Spent most of yesterday cleaning up in this office trying to find the floor so that Steve can put my desk in here, if it comes while I am in Greenville. We aren't having great luck with shipments. Our bedroom furniture took three attempts before we got it all undamaged. The driver told me the desk was damaged and I should refuse it, so I did. I want to get my office set up so I can actually do some writing and lay things out. I have piles everywhere since I have no desktop space right now.

I did find my copy of Chris Crutcher's Deadline and read it, almost in one sitting. You know from the start that Ben is going to die, but you still want to find out the ending. I know that sounds weird, but only by reading the book can you understand that comment. Ben is such a fascinating, quirky young man who approaches his impending death as the way to take the chances he would not have otherwise. He's a little guy but goes out for football and plays next to his quarterback brother Cody. He goes after the girl of his dreams and gets her. For a guy who is dying, Ben has a pretty good life. Too bad he hasn't told his family or anyone else in his personal life that he is dying. Even the therapist the doctor insists he see bails on him. He's too much for her to handle emotionally. So, Ben talks to Hey-Soos, the guy he meets in his dreams who looks a lot like what he thinks Jesus might and a bit like himself. You gotta love Hey-Soos' attitude! And he seeks out Rudy, the town drunk, who has a signed copy of Malcom X. Rudy turns out to be much more than Ben bargained for when he opens up about his past and why he stays drunk most of the time. As always, Crutcher throws a kitchen sink full of teen/family/social issues into this book, from mental illness, to racism, to child sexual abuse, but it all works because Crutcher is a master at crafting the teen issue/problem novel. One of my favorite new titles so far. It's a Greenwillow/HarperCollins title and will be out in September 2007. A gotta have in any teen collection, public or high school.

That's it for today.