Thursday, October 15, 2009


I missed family relationships blogging day. I had wanted to participate in it, but then I completely forgot about it. When Tuesday rolled around, I wrote about swine flu instead. You can blame my absentmindedness on said swine flu, if it makes you feel better. It does me.

I cribbed the following from Writers Inspired:
WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about family relationships. Why family relationships? We’re celebrating the release of Therese Walsh’s debut novel today. The Last Will of Moira Leahy , (Random House, October 13, 2009) is about a mysterious journey that helps a woman learn more about herself and her twin, whom she lost when they were teenagers. Visit The Muffin ( to read what Therese has to say about family relationships

So, here's my post anyway, even though the moment is over.

Last night my twin brother called me just as I was falling asleep, around 10:45.

Him: I'm sorry, did I wake you?
Me: Well, um, kind of. What's up?
Him: What's the name of that soap, the blue and white one, with the commercials where the people were all bright-eyed after taking a shower?
Me: (after a couple of seconds) Coast.
(Yes, I'm ashamed to say I knew exactly what he was talking about. No, it's not a twin thing, it's my sad attention to soap commercials.)
Him: (yelling to his girlfriend) It's Coast!!
Me: You woke me up for that?
Him: It was an emergency.

This is the way our phone conversations usually go. This, or some West Wing trivia (I'm sorry to say he's better than me), or a debate over the best Pop Tart flavor, or some other recital of something requiring cartoonish voices. Regardless, we end up in laughter. I end up in tears, grabbing my side, sometimes literally falling over.

But my twin brother also often asks me what I'm reading. He's always reading something impressive. Something on a recommendation from Ray Bradbury or Dan Simmons. Those conversations are much more serious, more passionate. I always learn something from him when we talk about reading. And I learn something about him, too.

We always called ourselves the yin and yang twins: He's tall, I'm short. He's right-handed, I'm left-handed. He's straight hair, I'm curly hair. He's got brown eyes, I've got blue eyes. He's smart, I'm beautiful (ok, so I'm smart too...). And so on. We're both writers. He writes literary science fiction, the likes of Harlan Ellison and Theodore Sturgeon and Jorge Luis Borges, guys way over my head. I'm more commercial, a completely different prosaic style. He's downright elegant, poetic in his prose. Mine just is. He learned to write by reading. He absorbs what he reads, and he reads voraciously. I was much more academic in my learning. But we even complement each other there. I think rhetorcially. He thinks literary.

He taught himself to play Keith Emerson solos by ear. By ear, the rat-bastard. I can draw portraits by copying from photographs.

Stephen King talks about the writer's Intended Reader (for him, it's his wife, Tabitha). Aside from my writing partner, the reader whose opinion I value most is my wombmate's. I have learned just as much (if not more) about writing from him as from King or Aaron Sorkin or Andre Dubus III or Nora Ephron or anyone else.

I love each of my siblings, each one for special reasons. But my twin brother is probably my most favorite person in the world. I cannot imagine a day, an hour, a minute without him in my life. I can't even begin to conceptualize life as a non-twin. Nor do I want to. It doesn't matter that we're both readers and writers, or that we're as different as can be. We don't believe in twin telepathy, and we don't live down the street from each other. But when it comes down to the real important things -- soap, pop tarts, Toby Zeigler impersonations, cats -- we're right there. We get it.

I've already written a protagonist w/ a twin brother. I doubt the manuscript will ever get finished, much less published, but it's one of my favorite character relationships. I'm drawn to characters w/ chemistry. But I love those two because I understand them so well. And I love that they understand each other.

So, this post is for you, dear wombmate. You fill me w/ joy.
And check out Therese Walsh when you can.


Elspeth Antonelli said...

There was a day this week that was supposed to be family relationship blogging day? No one sent me any memo.

What a lovely tribute to being a twin. I envy you two. Waaaah! Why don't I have a twin? Although, upon further thought, perhaps one of me is enough.


Word verification: mobst

How a declaration of love sounds when the speaker has a head cold: "Oh sweedhard, I lube you da mobst."

Elisa said...

Ahhh!! You make up word verifications too! Several of my blogger friends do the same!