Monthly Archives: October 2014

Wednesday October 1, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

I first started to "notice" boys when I was in 3rd grade. I had a real crush on Jimmy Thompson — he lived near me, and I’d walk home from school with him whenever I could. One day I told him a story about my grandfather (my dad’s dad) and how he had been in a terrible accident at the shipyards, where he worked in Collingwood, Ontario. I said his head had been crushed and he had a metal plate put in where his skull had been removed. I said you could attach stuff to his head with magnets, and this got Jimmy’s attention. He walked home with me — straight to my house where he demanded to see my mother. He said I’d been lying to him, and when he told her my story, she said, "you know, Jimmy, it’s actually quite true." He was duly impressed and agreed to be my friend. I had learned that a good story was a great way to get attention…and I also learned that (for the most part) it had to be true!

Friday October 3, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

Until perhaps grade 4, I believed in witches. I had seen "Sleeping Beauty," and the evil stepmother haunted my dreams. One night, I had a particularly vivid dream, in which I was being chased by a horrible witch. I climbed up a tree, but she was right behind me. As I climbed higher, the branches became thinner and thinner until I was stuck with nowhere to go. I looked down at the witch and said, "OK, do whatever you’re gonna do. I don’t care." As soon as I said that, she climbed back down the tree and ran off. I was never bothered by witches again! Guess you really do have to confront your demons.

Sunday October 5, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

The Barnstorf family lived across the street from us in Lynn Lake. Aaron and their youngest son, Roy, were great pals — always on the go, always getting into something. One would spur the other on, and although they could be troublesome, they never really got into trouble. The Barnstorfs’ dog, Lady, was a wide, placid, and friendly English Springer Spaniel. She would put up with just about anything. One day, I went out to look for the boys and I heard the "Rmmmm-rummmm, neeeerooowwwww" sounds kids make when they’re pretending to ride a motor bike. Around the side of the house, Aaron watched, waiting his turn — while Roy, standing astride Lady, loosely twisted her ears as if they were handles. Leaning forward like a racer, he drove Lady down an imaginary speedway, changing gears, changing lanes; you could almost see the wind whipping up their hair. Lady was expressionless, moving side to side, as if she were a hot machine and part of an improv comedy skit. I admonished both boys for teasing the dog, but inside, I laughed and looked forward to someday putting this scene into the strip.

Saturday October 11, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

Here’s where the "soap opera" comes into FBorFW. There had to be some romantic conflict in the story, so when Connie moved away, I enjoyed exploring some of the "what-ifs." Would people like John and Ted meet and talk like this in real life? Maybe not. Still, it was a way to answer some of the questions a sympathetic fly on the wall might ask: What if Ted felt badly? What if he realized his mistake? Exploring questions like these gave me the incentive to produce and to stay on deadline.

Wednesday October 15, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

When I was a kid, my friends would come to my house to talk to my mother. She and I didn’t always see eye to eye, so it surprised me when my friends considered her advice worth seeking. I accepted her relationship with them with admiration and jealousy: admiration for her, jealousy because I couldn’t confide in her the way they did.

Thursday October 16, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

My dad made us a leaf press and we used it a lot. After we left home, my mom continued to use it for the 4-leaf clovers she found. She would place the dried leaves between two sheets of sticky acetate and laminate them; then she’d put them into cards and letters — sending a bit of luck along with her regards. To this day, I have a box of her 4-leaf clovers. They are too precious now to send.

Saturday October 18, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

My friend Carolyn Sadowska (a professional comedienne who’s known for her comic impressions of Her Majesty the Queen) and coincidentally Aaron’s Grade 1 Teacher once told me that our monarch ate bacon with her fingers, which would render this approved mealtime etiquette. I wondered, then, how she would tackle a cob of corn. Food for thought.

Sunday October 19, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

My mom could make a casserole out of anything. In turn, I too have no fear of this classic leftover surprise. My friend Kelly once told me that her husband refused to eat leftovers. I asked if she had offered them to him in a casserole. She said, "No, because he’d find out." "What do you think quiche and stir fry and pizza and soup are made of?" I argued. "Bits of stuff from the refrigerator, cut up and fashioned into something ELSE!" She said she hadn’t thought of that, and we set about making a great pot of soup out of what was left in her fridge. It was a delicious brew, and her husband ate it with relish (and buns). When he was done, he asked her how she’d made it, and she replied, "soup mix," referring to a mix of stuff from the refrigerator. "Good," he said, "as long as it’s not made from leftovers."

Thursday October 23, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

One of the best costumes my folks ever made for my brother was "the mad scientist." It consisted of a lab coat, an Einstein-style wig, a black moustache, pipe, and granny glasses. In the pockets of the coat Dad had placed severed fingers, a tube of fake blood, and a stethoscope. The bag Al carried was covered in mathematical formulae — a real nod to Dad’s ability to do research. I don’t recall what I wore that year, so…Al was a hit and I was a miss.

Sunday October 26, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

When my brother was moved to his new bedroom in the basement, I thought I’d love having a room to myself. My mother replaced the kiddie curtains with flowered drapes and made a bedspread to match. I had a new dressing table and a white headboard for my bed. It was a room to be proud of. Still, when the trees outside whistled in the wind and their branches made stark, skeletal patterns on the walls, I’d lie there, terrified. Now that I was alone, spooks, goblins, and other imaginary evils were coming nightly to "get me." During one very bad storm, my mother got out of bed to see if I was all right. As she opened the door to my room, lightning shook the house, and the flash turned my mother into a silhouette shrouded in a glowing, transparent gown. I screamed as hard as I could! She never did understand why I was so frightened by her — I couldn’t explain what I’d seen. It was something I couldn’t describe. This is the way I remember that evening.

Monday October 27, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

Mike Peters (Mother Goose and Grimm) tells a story about how upset his girls would get if he embarrassed them in public. Now, Mike just can’t help himself — he’s a wonderfully theatrical guy with a prankster’s edge. When one of his girls left her school lunch at home, he delivered it in person by leaping into her classroom dressed as Superman. This strip reminds me of that day, and how Marci still winces when she thinks of her dad in that costume.

Tuesday October 28, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

Nope. Nobody in our family ever made a talking head on a table as a Halloween costume. This was another descent into the "writer’s mind" where silly ideas lie. The prospect of sustaining such a monstrosity made me think about how a small group of boys would treat their experimental pal; whatever they did, it would be messy!

Friday October 31, 2014

Lynn’s Notes:

When people called it "puppy love" I can’t imagine a weaker label. Even in elementary school, the feelings I had for boys my age were so strong, they governed most of my thoughts. Sly looks, soft touches, love notes and straight out rejection were as real and powerful then as they were later on. Most grown-ups just don’t understand. Those with good memories do!