7.15.2013

OF PETER PAN AND CAPTAIN HOOK


"mrs darling was married in white, and at first she kept the books perfectly, almost gleefully, as if it were a game, not so much a brussels sprout was missing; but by and by whole cauliflowers dropped out, and instead of them there were pictures of babies without faces. she drew them when she should have been totting up. they were mrs darling's guesses.

wendy came first, then john, then michael."

huck, with chubby fists full of peanut butter sandwich that he waves at me like he's brandishing a sword at some unseen foe, shouts "mommy! look! i captain hook!"

i smile big and repeat back in my most excited voice, "look! you're captain hook!" i have to do this or he won't feel satisfied that i've actually heard him correctly. such is the way with huck these days. he needs to have his words repeated and he chooses to self-identify with the villains. such is how i know he is mine.

he is getting so big. it's happening so fast. i miss his baby cheeks.

so, i'm writing a book. whhaaaaaat? is how i react every time i think of it. it's too weird. it's too weird for words, though 50,000 of them are due in march. in preparation, i'm re-reading a few of my favorite authors. l.m. montgomery, a bit of p.l. travers, and right now j.m. barrie. as nearly perfect as disney's peter pan is, it only takes page and a half in to know that the source material is infinitely more enchanting. (the same can be said for mary poppins.)

somehow all of my favorite books are books that are meant for children (or children's parents, if we're being honest). peter pan, anne of green gables, harry potter, huckleberry finn, and i noticed the other day that i've been naming all my babies after my favorite characters. not not on purpose, but not totally on purpose either. now that i'm aware of it, i'm starting to become weirdly passionate about it. sure their names pass the nickname test, or the supreme court justice test, but above all, let their names be shared with some incorrigible character who's been loved and has meant something to at least a hundred someone's before them. let their names give my babies something worth living up to.

we named our first baby for peter pan. he was just a little bit scruffy and always terribly naughty and i loved him hard from the moment i laid eyes on him. we brought him home to our little apartment in brooklyn and i happily set about the task of raising him up to be a right gentleman. this of course was a hopeless task, as who raises a peter pan to become a gentleman? no one with any sense is who.

we named our third baby for a grandfather on my father's side, but mostly, we named him after huck finn. oh boy is he the beat in my heart. i obviously have a soft spot for the stubborn ones.

for my huck, the hero in peter pan's story is captain hook. peering into spyglasses and plotting against mischievous lost boys and evading that dastardly tick-tocking croc. huck seems to understand the value of a good villain. we all need a good villain. and huck knows that out of all of us, the most interesting ones are the ones that are flawed, complicated, possibly the ones that are a little bit misunderstood. 

my fourth baby is going to be a book, it turns out. it's official, the ink is dried, the deadline is set. there it is! i am having a baby, and it is going to be a book. it is going to be a book about creating a beautiful life, whatever that means.

i have no idea what i am doing here, the entire thing scares the heck out of me. but it feel a little like the universe is setting this up for me. it wants this for me. i can almost hear it cheering me on. so i am going to take this opportunity and i am just going to run with it, both eyes shut, head first and to hell with it.

but my fifth baby will be human. if it kills me, dang it!

i have just the perfect name in mind.

i read this passage in "peter pan" the other day when i was on a train to dc. it gave me goose bumps all the way down my arms.

"stars are beautiful, but they may not take an active part in anything, they must just look on for ever. it is a punishment put on them for something they did so long ago that no star now knows what it was. so the old ones have become glassy-eyed and seldom speak (winking is the star language), but the little ones still wonder. they are not really friendly to peter, who has a mischievous way of stealing up behind them and trying to blow them out; but they are so fond of fun that they were on his side tonight, and anxious to get the grown-ups out of the way. so as soon as the door of 27 closed on mr and mrs darling there was a commotion in the firmament, and the smallest of all the stars in the milky way screamed out:

'now, peter!'"

86 comments :

  1. And your 4th baby will be read by many, far and wide!
    Congratulations

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  2. I will so be buying your book. :)

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  3. Oh, yay! Love everything about this.

    And yes, that last quote gave me shivers, too. :)

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  4. This is all terribly exciting! And now you've convinced me to pick up my copy of Peter Pan that's been lying on my bookshelf for years and re-read it :) So. Thank you for that.

    xo

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  5. So excited for you! Cheers to a baby book and lots of exceptional writing :)

    Cannot wait to read more of your journey and of course your book!

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  6. You have such a beautiful and entertaining way with words... the universe is definitely cheering you on and so am I. Can't wait!

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  7. That book of yours will be on my desk soon enough. I cannot wait to read more of you words.

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  8. Congratulations! I already can't wait to read it! I understand what you mean about the universe pushing you and cheering you on. I'm starting a business with a strong desire and not much else except this feeling that I need to do it. Your book will be great and you'll inspire so many more people. xoxo

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  9. We're cheering you on! I LOVE the quotes at the beginning and end of this post. Boy oh boy, now I realize I've never read Peter Pan and that there's a big gaping hole in my life until I do.

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  10. You, Natalie, are a beautiful writer. I've been following your blog for quite some time, but this is the first time I've commented. Something about this post really struck a cord with me. I can't wait to read your book and I wish you all the best.

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  11. It's about time is all I can say. Congratulations, and good on you!

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  12. well. i just can't even wait. cuz i've never read anything like your words!

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  13. I'm so excited for you! Your book is going to be wonderful! That has always been one of my dreams, to write a book. I cannot wait to read yours!

    Molly from Mint Atelier

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  14. Beautiful family photo and I love your outfit! Have fun writing your book and I can't wait to read it. :)

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  15. Congrats, Nat! News that's I've been anticipating for awhile. I named my daughter Lucy (she's 2) after Lucy Maud Montgomery. I know LM Montgomery went by Maud, but my husband wouldn't stand for it. (I kind of like Maud. I fought for it, and Ida, and won neither battle. But Lucy! Lucy.) You will have that fifth baby. And we will all love your book in the meantime.

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    Replies
    1. My niece is Kolette Maud and I love her name! Maud is perfect. So is Lucy. :)

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  16. i love you. i love you. i love you.

    hope that's okay.

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  17. You are so very lucky to have such a wonderful talent for writing.

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  18. cant wait to read this book of yours! xo

    http://allthingsprettyandlittle.blogspot.com/

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  19. All of your babies are beautiful, Natalie. I'm sure the fourth and fifth babies will be beautiful as well. I'm very excited and anticipate what great things you'll experience in the near future!

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  20. Congrats! I cannot wait. Your blog is my favorite. There's so much honesty. You give me hope and help day to day being a mom. Thanks Natalie.

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  21. They just don't write 'em like they used to - that last passage is simply beautiful! Good luck on your book; I can't wait to read what it's all about!

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  22. i love the way you write. so excited for you, and cannot wait to read your book! and i totally think brandon's drawing should be the cover!

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  23. Holy crap, congratulations! I'm excited to read it - you really are a fantastic writer!

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  24. Congrats pretty gir!! Don't ever let those negative people hold you back!! Be brave!!
    You deserve it!! So excited for you!!

    xoxo
    Lindsay

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  25. Congratulations on your book- I can't wait to read it! It's funny, this post about names and babies, because I'm due any day and have been relentlessly searching for "the perfect" name for my little girl. A few times I have thought, what would Natalie do? (even though I don't "know" you), just as you say, what would Anne Shirley do? What will Natalie name her next baby? Since you have such good taste and all. I very much do not expect you to share, nor am I asking you to, but just wanted to say that I've been curious. Anyway, I'm excited for your fourth and fifth babies and their names and stories. Congrats!

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  26. Such good writing :) So excited for your book!

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  27. Such good writing :) So excited for your book!

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  28. This is the stuff. I tell you what, I trust anybody who names their children after sneaky and stubborn little boys from books. I'll be buying that book of yours, woman. Keep on writing truth.

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  29. I always come back to the Anne books in times of trouble. They are soul soothers.

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  30. I love that picture. Can't wait for your book! Hanna Marie

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  31. I love this, as I love all your writing. "huck knows that out of all of us, the most interesting ones are the ones that are flawed, the ones that are complicated, possibly the ones that are a little bit misunderstood." How perfectly beautiful. And true.

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  32. This was a delightful post to read. I didn't want it to end, there was something about it - your writing, the ideas, the magic... can't wait to see what the book looks like and huge congratulations.

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  33. I love Peter pan. And that passage is one of my favorites, it literally brings tears to my eyes.

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  34. loved this so very much. a flashback that is so good for my heart and soul.
    xx

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  35. I am so excited to see where this book leads you. It will definitely be magical!

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  36. Congrats! I'm writing a book too. But, with probably no hope of it ever seeing the light of day. But, I'm writing a story I want to tell. Even if only to myself.

    Good luck!

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  37. I'm so excited to read your book! Happy writing!

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  38. So absolutely thrilled! I would like a signed copy, pretty please?

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  39. I can't wait to read your book!

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  40. Your writing inspires me, Natalie. Good luck in your book endeavors! Can't wait to read it :)

    xo

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  41. Oh, how beautiful is this post? (and how beautiful is that photo? answer to both: very.)
    How wondrous and marvelous and terrifying and dreamy for you all. <3

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  42. I can't wait to read your book! Sorry I am an echo of the other comments. But that is sooo exciting!! Congrats Natalie.

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  43. Can't wait to buy your book!

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  44. Exciting news. Of course I've thought you should write a book for quite awhile now. You have a wonderful way of putting all the right words together just so.

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  45. Natalie! You are going to do such a great job. I read your blog as a pick-me-up. When you get published I would LOVE to host you at my library (I am a library director outside of NYC) for a book-signing. :)

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  46. my heart is bursting for you, friend! you know how i feel about your writing. i'm totally going to eat the ENTIRE caviar garnish from whatever that unidentified yellow thing is at your book party. xo!

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  47. Enjoy writing! Your family picture is adorable! I love it. Xo

    webberwonderland.blogspot.com

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  48. I am SO excited for your book! I absolutely love you & your blog, Natalie, so I am really looking forward to a whole book! :)

    P.S. I sort of think the cover Brandon sketched for you is perfect! haha ;)

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  49. Keep your pencil sharp! It's going to be a bestseller, I just know it.

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  50. I'm reserving a spot on my bookshelves! So exciting! :)

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  51. Congratulations!

    I love the way you talk about children's books. I have a passion for them too. I don't care that it may be impractical but if I was stranded on a deserted island, I would want Winnie the Pooh there with me!

    Best of luck!

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  52. Holy cow! Big news right there. I am excited/nervous/in awe/amazed and perhaps the teensiest bit jealous of you. What courage, writing a book. And taking your place amongst all the rest. I'm sure it will be brilliant!

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  53. CAN I READ IT, already?!

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  54. *hugs* for the last post i didn't get to comment on and *Hugs* & congratulations on the book-baby! it's going to be mah-velous & i can't wait to read it. : )

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  55. I am so excited to read your book :)

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  56. Congrats on your book baby! That's so exciting! Can't wait to hear more about it =)

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  57. That's fantastic news - how wonderful.

    Just you make sure they ship your book internationally because I am going to have to get me a copy - can't wait!

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  58. Oh, how fabulous! I'm right with you: at this time in my life, when all of my friends are having babies, I am having a thesis. It's going to take me about 40 weeks to finish and I feel pretty confident it's been just as much work as creating a human. Also it's giving me heartburn, so there's that. ;) Can't wait to read you!

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  59. I think I'm right in thinking the baby that comes after the book baby (because he or she IS coming) will have a literary name. :)

    Congrats on the book!

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  60. so excited for you. i loved this post so much, all the way. it's posts like these that make me excited you will be writing a book. and it feels like you posted this photoshoot yesterday - how did huck already get so big!

    and yes, i, too, love the villains. ursula and scar have my heart but malificent. oh malificent. she was the best.

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  61. I have been a stalker and never one to comment, but I just had to get out of my comfort zone and not be intimidated. BRAVO! I am so excited for you and this new venture. Your words seem to just fall onto the pages of this blog with literally no effort. It makes my heart happy when I open the blog to see a new post. Congratulations! Well deserved

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  62. My name Is Jeanette, I just commented up above. Didn't realize it wouldn't show up who I am! I don't want to be known as unknown when I finally decide to comment!

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  63. I love that picture so much its not even funny. I am so stinkin' excited for your book, it will be awesome!!

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  64. fabulous news. a book! this is exciting. i love that quote, the last bit of it, a solid reminder. now. now! how everything is perfectly timed and meant for all of us. happy writing! and thennn maybe a blog post on how one gets a book deal.. :)

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  65. Congrats!! That is exciting, and I'm sure a little scary. I already know it will be a wonderful book. Will it have lots of pictures?? :-) Good luck!

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  66. Can't wait to get my hands on your book!! You know what's funny? I honestly never ever comment on blogs or email bloggers (well, okay, with the exception of giveaways) but for some reason, my heart just wants to respond to what you have to say (in a good way!). I think that's how many of your other readers feel when they say things like "I never comment on blogs, but..." and now a book!! Congratulations Natalie!! I am soooo excited, and now, I really want to read Peter Pan! Thank your!!

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  67. You were born for this! Can't wait to meet your latest offspring ;)

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  68. This is beautiful! /you are so incredibly talented. I cannot wait to read your book. :)

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  69. Wow...I can honestly say you're one of the few bloggers who clearly OUGHT to write a book. Love you in long form! Gives more time for the honest frustrations of life to start transforming into hope :)

    www.anna-bird.com

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  70. there is so much i love about this post: the quotes, the villains, the words, the wistfulness, the books, the huck, the everything. you have such a perfect way with words that i just know your book will be amazing.

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  71. yay! (x3 billion) golly, you are such a perfect writer. relatable, real, and entirely inspiring.

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  72. I think we are kindred spirits. I can't wait for your book! Long live the magic of childhood.

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  73. Writing a book! How Kathleen Kelly of you ;)

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  74. Ahhhh! So exciting. Can't wait to read it.

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  75. Did i miss something... What was your 2nd baby!?

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  76. I knew it! I knew someday you would write a book. You're too splendid of a writer to not write a book. This is so exciting! I look forward to it and good luck!

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  77. OMG OMG OMG!

    Congraaaaaaats! I cannot WAIT to read your gorgeous wordage in book form. Can't. Freakin'. Wait. SQUEEEE!!

    As many have said, you were born to do this...big time. (The biggest time!) I mean, OOF, you're just such a writer, you know? The writeriest. I know I'm just making up words but: book deal! YOUR book deal! You'll have a book!

    I'm obviously excited LIKE WHOA. ::does happy dance::

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  78. Omygoodness, Natalie! I have been away from your blog for way too long and I've missed it. This is the third of your posts I'm catching up on today and it is ALL YOU and it reminds me why I fell in love with your blog so long ago. I am tickled pink about your book and so curious to read it when it's finished. Congrats and good luck!

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  79. Congratulations! I hope to be able to follow in your footsteps one day! Unfortunately it's really hard to publish books of poetry! Good luck in this awesome endeavor! I can't wait to get my hands on it!

    cutestains.blogspot.com

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  80. "Creating a beautiful life..." I love it! That's what's most important to me, too, and at the crux of why I do what O do... I've thought about this many times. Cannot wait to read your book. You're such a talented writer.

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  81. I have been a stalker and never one to comment, but I just had to get out of my comfort zone and not be intimidated. BRAVO! I am so excited for you and this new venture. Your words seem to just fall onto the pages of this blog with literally no effort. It makes my heart happy when I open the blog to see a new post. Congratulations! Well deserved
    indian names

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