"Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah!" (Mary Strand)

This month at YA Outside the Lines, we're supposed to tell you the TRUTH about what we did on summer vacation this year. 

If you've never heard the song "Hell Muddah, Hello Faddah," this is your moment to go find and listen to the hilarious travails of a kid writing home from a horrendous camp experience.

No, really, go listen. Because my summer has been quite unexpectedly similar to that kid's.

Will I tell you all about it? Ha! No! But I will mention a few cool things in the style of "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah":

1. When you split your tooth up into the root and they can't save it, it turns out that ghastly pain and inability to sleep or eat or function causes you to lose weight. Yay!

2. When your daughter's purse is stolen along with her key to your house and the key to the Prius that you can't stand, you get brand-new, shiny keys to the new locks on your house AND you finally get to sell the Prius, because why should those nasty thieves get to swipe it from you, right? Right!

3. When you fly to Montana for a writers' conference that you realize (in the first 30 minutes) was a horribly bad decision on your part, you get to WALK OUT and go hiking in the mountains in Bozeman AND buy every possible type of huckleberry everything in the city! The latter may have downsides, like weight gain, but NOT if you later split your tooth and lose weight. Multitasking!

4. When the refuge of your summer house turns out not to be one due to visitors that your spouse tragically agreed to, you get to stay in the city in air-conditioned comfort AND it wasn't your fault! AND It Will Never Happen Again!

5. When you switch from a PC you love to a MacBook laptop you loathe, and your whole world crashes as a result ... eventually you'll die and never have to think about it again!

Actually ...

I do think of this as the Summer of My Discontent, but in the spirit of fairness I jotted down a bunch of good things that happened, too. In somewhat random order:

- As of June, all three novels in my Pendulum trilogy are now out!

- I got my motorcycle license!!!!!

- The Melismatics, a band I LOVE but which doesn't play very often, played at Open Streets Lyndale

- Another band I love, the Belfast Cowboys, played at Lake Harriet Bandshell

- My band, Dodging Potholes, played two fun gigs

- I got to co-write a song (for the first time!) with the amazing Sarah Morris

- I've written eight new songs so far this summer

- We head into the studio next week to record my son's drums on four of my songs for my upcoming album, so singles are finally in my foreseeable future (!)

- I had an amazing softball season ... when I was able to play

- I saw a BUNCH of adorable writer pals during a fun weekend in D.C.

- I (briefly) got to see more adorable writer pals during my ill-fated trip to Montana

- I own all of Georgette Heyer's novels, and they're wonderful comfort reads

- Jell-O tastes great when you're in too much pain to eat anything else

- If you live in tank tops all summer, Gap has great new ones

- I still haven't gotten COVID <knocks on all wood in sight>

And fall is coming.

Mary Strand is the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Push-Up Bras and three other novels in the Bennet Sisters YA series. You can find out more about her at marystrand.com


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