Thursday, June 10

"To be alive is a beutifull thing," reads the first line in Howie the little girl's new novel. "The sun, the shining, all the prety good things. Its so great." Howie's older brother is reading it outloud. "That's not how you spell beautiful, there's an A and only one L. And you mean It apostrophe S, otherwise it's possessive."

Stupid brother. "Can I have my book back please? I'm not done with it yet."

"You wrote all this?" He flips through the fifty six pages of her book. He stops on a page near the back and reads it aloud, "The trees are real pretty, like the sky. I like to look at the sky through the trees and all the pretty green leaves..." he turns to the last page. "and flowers are so great, too. I like to smell them and look at the bugs that fly around them and I'm sad when summer is over." He slams the book shut and tosses it to the ground at her feet. "That's not how you end a book. You're a shitty writer."

Howie picks up the book and looks at her brother hard. "I'm not even done with it yet." she tells him, book hugged to her chest. "And when I am done you can't read it."

"Who wants to read it anyways? You write about stupid things that no one cares about. You need some conflict or action or something. There aren't even any characters." He jumps on his bed and takes out a comic book. "Now go away."

Howie shuffles out of her brother's room and down the hall into her own. She takes her pet old man head out from his hiding place under her bed and sets him down in the sunlight under her window. She opens the book to one of her favorite passages, the one about the stream in the woods. "I really like the way the water never stops, it's just always moving over those rocks and making them all shiny. Water is so great. And rocks. I just like to sit and watch the water. I wish I could hold it, but it just slips through my fingers."

"I don't care what he says," Howie the little girl tells her pet old man head. "I think it's a great novel."

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