Saturday, April 02, 2005

My daughter, the Mutant: An Introduction

So, way back in 1990, when I was 20, I gave birth to a mutant. You think I'm joking, but alas, I am not. After a wicked labor, this huge 9lb 10oz 22" baby was born. That kid's head was SO sloped it was still apparent in her 6 week old picture. I gave birth to an infant, not a newborn. She was being strolled to the nursery in that tacky plastic bassinet thingy they use, and this other teeniny baby was there, too. (Yes, teeniny is a word. Move to Texas if you don't believe me.) I said, "Oh my gosh! What's wrong with that tiny baby?!"

The nurse, not missing a beat, said, "Nothing. Yours is a mutant."

No, I'm not kidding. She was SO big, that a regular 7.5 lb baby looked like a premie. The really super sweet moment came when this Nurse Cratchit informs me, "Babies get bigger as you have them."

WTH? I'm 20 and I'm being told they get BIGGER as they come? You'd think that right there would have stopped me from having more. Alas, it did not. And, additional, Nasty Nurse lied. They all got smaller, with the youngest being a mere 7.5 (YAY! Oh, and there's another story...He kind of up and walked out. When you get to #4, they tend to do that.) Anyway, this is Shandie's story, so back to the topic at hand.

That's when it started. Shandie Alexandra Fontenot was born. And it's been a blast of a ride since. She's tall, already 5'8 (I'm 5'3, so to me, that's tall. Don't argue.) She's beautiful (I am NOT biased!) and as sharp as a tack. Rapier wit darts from her tongue, and yet she compliments me on a continual basis with comments like, "I want to be my mom when I grow up." Now how many (almost) 15 yr old's say that?! Pardon me a moment while I beam.

Now, like Shandie, I started writing in high school. Poems and short stories. They rarely got seen past my journal (no computers, yanno.) Of course they were these dark, gloomy works, mostly about my death or funeral, etc. Teenager kinda stuff. Shan continues this gene along, although she rarely writes as darkly as I did at that age. And, (another beaming moment coming! Put on the sunglasses!) she won the covetted position of Chief Copy-editor of the high school's school literary magazine, beating out upperclassmen that had worked on the mag way before she even came along. Additionally, they put her in the creative position of poetry contributor. Does the kid have talent? Absolfreakinlutely. Way more than I did at her age. And NOW is the time to hone it.

She reads adult fiction. After fifth grade, she could no longer score any higher on manadtory tests. She was testing at 12th grade, 9 month, which means her brain worked like that of a senior that just graduated. In 5th grade. She sometimes scares me. So now I'm telling her to write. She wrote this really creepy short story that would impress Stephen King (I know this, because I read Stephen King.) Suspense, gore, murder. I read it and looked at her, even knowing she's brilliant, shocked at her talent. So yesterday I start on her. Shandie, be a reviewer ( her new fav is Jennifer Crusie). I told her she should write young adult. YA is big right now, and she LIVES it. Put her talent behind what she knows in a field that's craving new work. I started writing at 24 myself, aiming for category (SIM) but at the time, that husband and that situation did not encouragement me to continue. If I'd kept at it these 11 years past, where could I have been today?! She's 14. Start NOW, Shan. Get it going, and by the time you're MY age, you'll be a pro and earning a true living doing what you love to do: writing.

So there's my intro of Shandie. Those wondering how to pronounce her name, it's like Sandy, but with an h. Shan-dee. Not Shawn-dee. Sandy with an h. Easy. In my novel currently making the rounds in contests, her middle name, Alexandra, is the hero's name of Alex. Now you know how I got his name. And now you know Shandie. Click on her link here at my blog and read about her. I know you'll find her as amusing as I do. Let me dig around and find a better picture of her and I'll post it. She IS my sunshine. (Another story there, but those that know it, know how it touches my heart.)

Until later....

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