Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Friday Poem

Running The Maze

Daddy was an expert at driving the lab animals mad
It was his job, it was his passion. Daddy had talent for it.
Daddy married a woman with a pretty child and no maternal
Instinct drove them to it. Unhinge that child Daddy, see what
She can take. The little whore becomes your slave until she is
Too old. Unhinge that child. What is she but a ticking time bomb?
Call her a liar and she becomes one, threaten the cage again, bind her
Mind with fear like Chinese women’s feet. Women are used to torture
The women her mother hates so much, apron wearing women, domesticated
Dumb cows. The girl will run the hamster wheel of repetition repetition repetition
Until she is the only one left alive. Alone at last. Talks about it like normal life, like
Normal life
Like Normal life.

2006, Peggy Pendleton

The Reviews On the Novel Are In

ABNA Expert Reviewer

Judy's narration that begins the excerpt is engaging and wry. However, as soon as she mentions suicide, plus psychiatric treatment, the tone turns abruptly somber. Since the narrator describes what sounds like severe depression, other details would be helpful. Does Judy live alone, and if so, how does she make her living? Or, as it's implied, her relationship with her mom, is causing her major problems, does she have any one besides the dog to take care of her?

The question raised is obviously why the daughter and mom have a strained relationship, which gets answered in the next chapter. It's hard to predict where the novel is going after that.

The anecdotes and descriptions used in the flashbacks are enough (to me) to illustrate the problems between mother and daughter. The part about the Dobermans appearing in Judy's Baby Book, nicely illustrates their friction, just as well as all Judy's explanation of why she hates/loves Maggy in the first chapter.

It seemed a little unbelievable that Judy would describe her sexual assault so dryly and then tell how she was suddenly hysterical. The aftermath rang true, but I didn't get a sense of how the child really felt as it was occuring. In other scenes the "child's eye view" was believable.

I'd either use "Chuck" or "Daddy" not go back and forth. The fight between him and Maggy is awfully ugly, especially coming right after the rape scene, and then the flight of Maggy and Judy. It's a lot of drama to give the reader so early in the book.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

"Maggy" is a story of a woman (Judy) and her narcissistic mother (Maggy). After the opening scene establishes the unhealthy releationship between Judy and Maggy (after a visit from her mother, Judy spends a month in bed recovering), we go to flashbacks of Judy's messed-up childhood. Some of the details are confusing: Judy first says she was set to live with grandparents at a very early age, but then goes on to give details of living with her parents from toddlerhood on. There's a pretty upsetting scene in which a stranger (whom Maggy stupidly trusts) sexually abuses a four-year-old Judy. Judy's father abuses her mother; there's no love in her family. This excerpt was compelling, though Judy is more pitiable than likeable. (She says she's had therapy. She needs more. A lot more.) I would probably keep reading, because I'm curious where the story is going.

Well, it's back to the drawing board. I have MRMacrum's edit, and these "reviews" of my first three chapters. I will soon start working on them again. For now, I'm a limp rag.

A Letter From Howard Dean

Among the disastrous policies of our government since Ronald Reagan pushed for it is the privatization and deregulation of everything designed to protect workers, their families, and the poor and disabled. This lack of care for the least among us places us firmly in the ranks of the rest of the worlds most repressive and poorest governments. It is not Socialism to care for the poor. It is not Socialism to provide health care for those whose health care provider has failed them in times of greatest need despite years of paying inflated premiums.

I wake up each day to a packed email box and 90% of my email is from various news and political sites. This was the email that I found needed immediate action. I post it here hoping you will sign this petition and add your own comments:

Dear MoveOn member,
I have an announcement. After four exciting years in Washington, I'm hitting the campaign trail again! Only this time, I'm campaigning to help President Obama win health care for all.

During the election, President Obama proposed a health care plan that would give every American the freedom to choose between keeping their private insurance—if they have any—and choosing a universally available public health insurance option like Medicare.

But for-profit insurance companies and HMOs are already working hard to strip this public health insurance option from any upcoming health care bill. They don't want us to have a choice, and they'll stop at nothing to kill real reform. Trouble is, some in Congress are siding with the insurance companies—and against what's best for the rest of us.

Today, we draw a line in the sand. A public health insurance option is the only way to guarantee health care for all Americans. And to show that we mean business, we all need to tell Congress we won't settle for less.

If 250,000 of you sign this petition, I will personally deliver it to Congress. Clicking here will add your name:
Here's our message to Congress: "Give America a choice. We support health care reform that allows individual Americans to choose either a universally available public health care option like Medicare or for-profit private insurance. A public option is the only way to guarantee health care for all Americans and its inclusion is non-negotiable. Any legislation without the choice of a public option is only insurance reform and not the health care reform America needs."

The fight is heating up over whether or not to include the public health insurance option. This is going to be the biggest fight in the debate over health care reform. It would take the power away from the private insurance companies that have driven up costs and denied coverage for years—and they're dead set against it.

But I've seen firsthand what people power can accomplish. And I know I can count on MoveOn members to help lead the charge.
Now is our moment to stand up. Together, we can generate broad-based support for a public health insurance option. We will need to canvass our neighborhoods, call our elected leaders, and arrange meetings with members of Congress in the coming months.

Our goal today is to show Congress that we are many and ready to fight. Can you click here to stand with me?

After you add your name, spread the word to your friends, family, and co-workers. Send a personal email and include a link to the website, update your Facebook status to tell people about the campaign, write a blog post about why you support this campaign—we need all hands on deck to win this fight.

Thank you for all you do.