Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Guest Post: J T Allen

Why Daisy Writes It Herself
by J. T. Allen

In the third chapter of the blog novel MY STUPID JOURNAL, Daisy Tannenbaum tells us this about arriving in Paris to live with her Aunt Millicent:

“My room had a window that looked out onto a cobbled courtyard, where black clouds, like a layer of tar, spread tight over Paris rooftops. It was raining, had been since the Air France jet touched runway. My own room. First time ever.” 

The Chapter is titled “A Room of My Own,” cribbed from Virginia Woolf of course, but it is doubtful whether Daisy, age twelve, knows that. She might. She’s a precocious reader from an academic family, but if she does know, she doesn’t let on.

She goes on to write:

“I’d always been thrown in with my sister, Clymene, as long as I could remember. It’s the most amazing thing, having your own room, your own desk, your own little desk lamp you can turn on and off without anybody biting your head off, even in the middle of the night; and nobody IM-ing all night with their toad boyfriend, keyboard clacking, and nobody sobbing under their covers when the toad doesn’t call; or playing some song over and over again because it reminds them of their toad and how lovely he is or how mean he is, or both, or neither.”

The romantic tribulations of her older sister hold no attraction for Daisy and tend to make her wary of boys, of sex, of growing up. But then she says this:

“That’s not to say I didn’t miss her. That’s the weird part. I really, really, really missed my stupid, messed-up family, including Clymene.”

Daisy is in exile. She is bitter and homesick and confused by her feelings. She wants to hate her sister and family but can’t quite bring herself to do it. As the story proceeds she’ll go on an immense adventure in a fantastic city, full of experiences she could never have imagined, growing into a person she could not have imagined becoming. She’ll never fully resolve this split in her feelings though—loving and missing her family while despising them for sending her away—but hopefully, and this is part of the fun of writing her story in first person, we the reader come to see some of the never-expressed wisdom of her parents, particularly her mother, who recognizes that Daisy is a girl who needs a room of her own.


(MY STUPID JOURNAL, the second Daisy Tannenbaum adventure, to be released this summer, can be read in blog form at: Her first adventure, DAISY AND THE PIRATES, about being stuck on a remote island with her sister, divorced parents, and her dad’s new girlfriend, is now an ebook, available at Amazon ( and elsewhere.)


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