Of ceiling wax and cabbages

YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

Posts Tagged ‘Sam Cropley

Diana Wynne Jones and me

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Diana as a child

Diana as a child

Vale Diana Wynne Jones 16 August 1934 – 26 March 2011

Only thin, weak thinkers despise fairy stories. Each one has a true, strange fact hidden in it, which you can find if you look – Fire and Hemlock (1985)

Diana with Dorabella

Diana with Dorabella

It’s been a month since Diana Wynne Jones’ sad passing. I haven’t read many of her books, but as a child and teenager what I read captivated my imagination and left lasting impressions into my adulthood. There was much internet writings on her passing and JudiJ compiled a useful list.

The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones I met Diana Wynne Jones somewhere on the boundaries between worlds and she showed me some astounding places. I’m not sure when this was, sometime in the late 80s when I was 10 or 11. I visited those boundaries many times. It was one of the books I read over and over as a kid. I wanted to live there, hiding behind my hair, with an arm which may or may not have been inhabited by a demon. My boring existence didn’t even come close. Despite the innumerable times I read The Homeward Bounders, I couldn’t remember the title when I thought of it in the middle of a sleepless night the week after DWJ died (btw I wasn’t sleepless because of her death. I just get really bad insomnia sometimes). I do remember Prometheus living his painful day over and over, the shadowy strangers playing war games with real peoples’ lives, the dirty, nameless cities Jamie found himself in, no matter how many boundaries he crossed, and the constant fear of running from Them. [1]

That’s the trouble with boundaries you often don’t have time to catch your breath – The Homeward Bounders (1981) [1]

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Written by ClareSnow

27 April 2011 at 12:50 pm

the sky really is everywhere

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The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson Put your head under the water, open your eyes and look up at the sun. Your whole world will be filled with sparkles of water light*

I txtd that to SpiderSam two months before he died, not knowing The Sky is Everywhere, from where I stole these words, would follow my grief so closely. While I’ll admit to wearing his clothes, the other thing is not to be discussed :P

Tomorrow the US paperback of Jandy Nelson’s heart wrenching The Sky is Everywhere is released. I read JN’s poignant story last year but my own grief meant only now can I write about this book which helped me so much when SpiderSam died.

The Sky is Everywhere made the shortlist of last year’s Inkys in Sept/Oct/whenever and I hoped it would win the Silver Inky but Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater won the 2010 Silver Inky. I have no idea why I haven’t read Shiver, what with it being about dogs and all. I read eleven of the contenders before the longlist was announced, and five on the shortlist. A few of my fav books of last year were longlisted but didn’t make the shortlist, Loving Richard Feynman by Penny Tangey, The Wrong Grave by Kelly Link and my favouritetist The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff. Again the dog worked his magic.

Each evening she held his head in her hands and ran her aching fingers thru the thick ruff of fur around his neck. He burrowed against her, sighing devotion

I’m not sure dogs b a judging criteria in the Inkys, despite Inky himself. Cos I didn’t read all the titles perhaps there’s even better dogs in the other books. ie. Shiver.

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Written by ClareSnow

21 March 2011 at 11:31 pm

what do you see in me?

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whatever. maura can snort until all the brain-mucus has left her head and pooled at her feet. i will not respond.

the trevor project I just discovered Will Grayson, Will Grayson by those gods of the letter John Green and David Levithan is the first YA novel with a gay main character to make it to the New York Times Best Seller List. Lee Wind told me this while spreading news of a new online book club for LGBTQ teenagers at The Trevor Project. The first book is Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult, but who cares about that when the book club will officially launch with Will Grayson, Will Grayson on April 29. Woohoo!! Get reading if you haven’t already. I done my homework and how could I not love those two Wills? I did, it’s just Will2’s depression made things somewhat distressing.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson what could i say? that i didn’t just feel depressed – instead, it was like the depression was the core of me, of every part of me, from my mind to my bones? that if he got blue, i got black? that i hated those pills so much, because i knew how much i relied on them to live?

I have a thing for reading words that could have come from my head. The words in my head continue with something else that I won’t write here.

i couldn’t say any of this. because, when it all comes down to it, nobody wants to hear it. no matter how much they like you or love you, they don’t want to hear it.

Or you’ve told them so many times, the record is well and truly shattered. There was one person I could tell these words to. It was those same words he thought and told me, that killed him. Reading Will2’s thoughts made me think what I thought every time SpiderSam spoke the same words that went through my head,

Excuse me, that’s my line!?

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Written by ClareSnow

1 March 2011 at 12:53 am

leave through the window flying

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Jack and I found another poem Sam wrote. He wrote it in his high school folder so that might have been 1998. Compare the progression of his poetry in 12 years.

far from sound

by Sam Cropley

I’m from an english background
my life is far from sound
for I am bound by the rules of society
even if it doesn’t apply to me
by its floors, by its see of doors
by the people that control
by the thugs that roll
You for your money and possessions
for u don’t carry any weapons
for you see no need
as my life isn’t run by greed

As with At the door I changed no words. I only added a title and (not much) punctuation. It b all his own words

Written by ClareSnow

24 February 2011 at 10:03 am

Posted in poetry

Tagged with , , , , ,

This is Sam

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Update 16 Jan: This is an amended version of what I blogged last week. if you read the original, compare and contrast and feel free to grade me in comments

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson I wish your shadow would get up and walk beside me

That’s not quite what Lennie in The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson wrote in her grief for her sister. It’s what I want in my grief for my friend the Grasshopper who died four weeks ago. I don’t understand how the sun continues to rise and set after Sam’s death, like nothing has happened. But when I think of his shadow walking beside me, I remember Sam’s smile and smile with him. Sam Cropley went by many names, but I’ll stick to Sam to lessen confusion.

The Saturday after his 29th birthday Sam and I talked a lot on the phone, him being in Melb and me in Perth. I was the last person he talked to and people have asked me what he said. I’ve found it hard to tell them because by our last convo he hardly said anything. And our previous convos during the day were our usual random inanity that only we cared about – the posters he was putting up, walls, cool things left on the side of the road, trees, ponds, stupid jokes about sticks. I can talk the clouds down from the sky and sometimes my job description was to do that in his ear to stop him going crazy. That day our roles were reversed.

painting stained glass in his last job

painting stained glass in his last job

I now realise it wasn’t the words Sam said that mattered, it was what his phone calls to me on that day said about the person Sam was. He would have done the same for any one he knew, if you’d needed what I needed that day. What he did for me is what made him Sam: a beautiful, generous person who always considered others before himself. As Jack put it

He always looked out for me and he would always make sure that I was happy and comfortable well before himself. A true big brother

My sk8 dog Sheeba died that Saturday 11 December. She had a malignant tumour on her leg and I had her put down. She was only sick for a week and on the day she died Sam phoning me so many times helped me more than anything. He knew how important Sheeba was to me. She was my silver princess, my Holly White, always spinning circles for me. Sam wanted to distract me and catch his contagious happiness, which I did. In between my tears for Sheebie, Sam made me smile more than I thought I could on such a day.

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Written by ClareSnow

7 January 2011 at 3:03 am

Sam’s txt poem

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Update 19 Jan: I would like the record to state that I changed no words in Sam’s poem. I only added punctuation and made the line breaks. It b all his own words

As well as paint words on walls Sam could draw pictures with words. He txtd me this last February (it must’ve taken ages to type cos he didn’t have a iphone) I always thought it was a story but when I set it out like a poem, I discovered it is a poem. You’re not the only poet Jan

At the door

by Sam Cropley

stained glass wallI was asleep
I hear a bang on door
Ding dong, the doorbell goes
Smash, smash
The banging is at my window
I wake
The process repeats
Tentatively I look out the smallest of gaps
I don’t know this burly man
Smashin away at my insecure unit
This won’t go away
I wish it would
Police? Mafia?
What have I done?
Angry brother? Drug debt?
Or simply wrong place wrong time?
My sleep numb brain makes a decision
The bangin and ringing continues
I turn on my bedside light
My body panics
Fidgets here, fidgets there
My mind still thinkin of the troubles in the past
I reach the door
Who is it?
No response
Who is it?
Moments pass
Feels like I’ve just committed all those sins over again
Who is it?
Not daring to open the door
The man, the voice, the commotion responds
You’ve left the lights on in your ute.
Ok mate, cheers, I respond

Written by ClareSnow

7 January 2011 at 3:01 am

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