Posted by Angelica R. Jackson
My two nieces (12 and 13) came to visit from Texas a few weeks ago, and it didn't take long for my husband to discover he was actually sharing the house with three teenaged girls. Yep, scratch my responsible, middle-aged veneer and you'll find a giggly, squee-ly teen.
We went to see Brave, went horseback riding, and to the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary. All things I can (and do) without them, but so much more fun with someone who is as enthusiastic about those kinds of things as I am. We were even going to chalk our hair one evening since their mom won't let them dye it (note: I was 14 the first time I dyed mine) but it seemed like they needed some downtime with their Kindles too.
That brings us to what we talked about most of all--books! They each have a Kindle Fire, but apparently their dad has a rule that they can only get free books for it. And there are a lot of free books that are great, but unfortunately also a lot of substandard self pubs out there too. (notice I'm not knocking all self-pubbed books--just those titles that make the entire industry look bad)
So we bemoaned all the books I've purchased that don't have lending enabled. I have over 100 items on my Kindle, and I was only able to find 7 YA titles that had lending enabled. I know it's up to each individual publisher to decide that, but wow--that's a very small percentage.
As a consolation prize, I let them go through the YA books I bought to give as presents this Christmas and pick a few out to read now. They happily spent a few hours drowning in a pile of books. That's what aunties are for, right?
I would have liked to have spent more time with them, but was also pretty exhausted after just 3 days of them. How do you parents do this all the time? Granted, we went from 0 to teenager, but still . . .
The reason we only took them for a long weekend (plus joined them and my mom for a few evenings) was because I'm doing a big push on my WIP before the LA conference, and I'm not a super-fast writer. So that means more butt-in-chair. My one niece kept trying to coax me into camping with them, but when I said, "If I don't write the book, how will you ever get to read it?" she nodded in agreement.
My mom was more aggravating about it (she's mostly stopped bringing up ideas for jobs for me) and kept saying, "Can't you just not write for the week they're here?" What annoyed me is that she would not have said to my brother or my husband, "Can't you just not go into work for a week?" She understands that they have to do some planning and juggling of their work schedules to take time off, and even then may not be able to do it, but thinks that doesn't apply to my writing. Aargh!
Okay, apparently my inner teen can still get off a good "my mom just doesn't understand me!" rant, haha!