Daily Archives: January 23, 2010

Excited and Sad at the Same Time

Question:

hey well i love your books so much..!! well first of all im a junior an im so excited an sad at the same time. im somwhat scared of going to college. not because of the class but mostly i guess of growing up. i dont really know what i want to be when i grow up i was think teaching or maybe being a writer. i dont really know how it works like the degrees in college. i should probably ask becuase im graduading next year but anyways i wrote to you not so long ago about this boy i really liked. we have been broken up for almost 10 months practically a year an im still so hung over him. the funny part to me is that he doesnt even go to school anymore because he graduated so i rarely see him. well thanks for the awesome books you’ve written. =]

Phyllis replied:

 

Your email interested me in particular because Alice feels exactly the same way you do in the book I’m writing now, “Incredibly Alice,” which will come out next June.  Regarding college she is sad, scared, excited….well, I’ll let you read the story.  I think one reason you’re thinking about this guy is that you’re wishing you had some of those good feelings back right now.  When we’re worried or nervous about something, happy times in the past seem almost perfect.  About all I can tell you is that making the transfer from childhood to adulthood is, in addition to being exciting, a type of mourning.  You are giving up some things–maternal comforting, security and dependence, childish fun–many things that you truly enjoyed. And although you don’t want to go back to being a little child, you do miss the perks that went with it, some of them, anyway.  Be honest with yourself and what you miss, and remember that this is a common and normal feeling among kids facing college.  There are times you want that mother’s hug.  The dad’s encouragement.  The sibling’s teasing.  The hot dinner.  The clean sheets.  Normal, normal, normal, normal, normal.  If you still feel that way often once you get to college, most schools have support groups you can join of kids who are feeling exactly the same way, and it’s a good place to make friends.

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Molested by my dad

Question:

Thank you so much for writing the Alice books. About a year ago my dad molested me and I didn’t tell anyone for a few months, but then he wanted to start spending more time with my brother and I, (him and my mom got divorced a few years ago) and when he asked about spending more time with us my sister who was 18 then told our mom that our dad molested her when she was younger, so my mom asked If he did anything to me, and I don’t think I would have been able to tell her if I didn’t read about Elizabeth going through it with her parents friend, and how she felt better after she told her parents. So I just wanted to thank you for writing the books, they really helped me through all of this.

Phyllis replied:

 

Thank you for your email, but especially for the help you may have given to many readers of this blog.  Adults who take advantage of children and teens use many ways to keep them from telling:  some, of course, actually threaten harm if they tell, but more commonly they tell their victims this:  “You are so sexy I just can’t help myself;” “I get really tense and you’re the only one who helps;”  “You want it just as much as I do;” “I’m helping you learn about sex so you don’t learn about it from the wrong kind of guy;” “A father is entitled;”  “I’m not the first and you know it;” “Come on, be nice to me;” and the list goes on and on.   No matter how this began, no matter who started it, no matter if you did it before, no matter if you liked it, no matter if you only pretended to like it, no matter if you took gifts for doing it, remember that it is a crime for an adult to molest a child, including his own child or relative.  TELL SOMEONE WHO WILL BELIEVE YOU.

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Homesickness

Question:

As always, thank you so much for the Alice books, as they have brought much
insight and happiness to myself and many other readers. I am in my second
semester of college, and I wrote to you last summer asking for advice regarding
homesickness. I was so worried that I would be completely distraught and missing
my family and your advice helped. I was hardly homesick at all! Then, I went
home for winter break only to discover how wonderful my family is. I spent a
month taking advantage of every day with them and having the best time! Now,
coming back to school, I am more homesick than I have ever been. I have
attributed this feeling to several factors: I have no close friends, I am
questioning my major, and, of course, I love my family and miss them. I feel so
overwhelmed with not knowing what I want to do with my life and cannot help
wanting my supportive family by my side. This is truly a very difficult time for
me, yet I am baffled as to why this time around I feel like I need my family
more than ever. I realize I need to become independent, and I was LAST semester,
but something has changed and I cannot quite figure out how to make myself feel
better. I know my email is all over the place, but any advice would be much
appreciated.

Phyllis replied:

 

You haven’t said whether or not you’ve seen a counselor.  I know a person who went through much the same as you in the sophomore year, and got enormous help by being part of a support group of other homesick students.  It also enabled him to make friends, which you  need right now.  Please do confide in a college counselor and ask if there isn’t a support group that would be right for you.  Just sharing your feelings and listening to others report the same kinds of feelings would do a lot to make you feel more secure in the questions you’re facing, normal questions that are common to students all through their college years.  I also would love to hear from other readers of this Alice blog who have dealt with their own homesickness.  What helps?  You readers often come through for each other, and I welcome your emails.

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I have a big problem.

Question:
I have a big problem.
Before winter break life was wonderful. i was extremly popular, had many, MANY boyfriends and makeout buddies, and was honestly loved by everyone. I felt beautiful simply because boys told me i was. The last day of winter break changed everything. I used to live in San Fransisco and had a best friend. He died the last day of winter break. He was only 14 and died from lukimia. It had been an on going struggle but i never thought he would really die. I hadn’t seen him for a year, yet his death changed me, for the worse. I looked in the mirror and saw ugly. I feel like no one can ever love me. I feel fat and gross, and it changed me so much guys never talk to me because i never flirt with them anymore. I don’t beleive in God anymore. And yet i feel gulity, but i still think God is a fake that wants to touture us. I don’t know what to do. Why would God kill off a helpless boy? Why don’t i feel beautiful anymore? And why, why, why do i need boys to help me feel pretty? Because they dont say i’m pretty anymore. Yet my features haven’t changed? So this really doesn’t make much sense.
I’m sorry to bother u but i need help, now, before it’s too late,
Phyllis replied:
No, it doesn’t make sense.  My first reaction, when I read your email, was that it is reading like a novel, a made-up tale.  The more I think about it, however, and especially if you have experienced this extreme high and extreme low before, I’m wondering if you don’t have a medical condition that needs a doctor’s help.  NO ONE is loved by everyone and no one has a life that is completely wonderful.   But let’s take you at your word that you felt this way, and I agree it’s a great feeling to have.  And then, in a single brush stroke, a friend across the country, whom you hadn’t seen for a year (yet you call your best friend), dies, and suddenly your bubble bursts.  (Meanwhile, however, soldiers die in Iraq, natural calamities happen, the newspapers and TV tell stories of abused children and serial killers, that don’t seem to have any affect on your happiness and popularity).  You end your email with “I need help now before it’s too late.”  I agree.  These highs and lows are taking over your life, and I hope you will talk with a counselor and a medical person soon to see how to stabilize your daily living and your perceptions about yourself.

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Is it possible to order them all?

Question:
first of all i luvvvvv your books i was wondering if its possible to order all 24 books and for how much i think it would make a great present
Phyllis replied:
 
I believe that all the Alice books are still available in one form or another, some in hardcover and paperback, some in paperback only.  You could try going first to Amazon.com to their books section to check each title and see what’s available.  Then you could order each one through Amazon or from a local bookstore, though the stores would  probably appreciate it if you brought in the information yourself, namely the ISBN number on each book you wanted, which you could get from Amazon.  If there was any book you couldn’t find, you could write the publisher for it.  If your question was, is there any package deal where you could order all 24 books at the same time without ordering each one individually, I don’t think so.  Four Alice books did come out in a paperback set called “The Wonderful World of Alice” and included “Agony of Alice,” “Alice in Rapture, Sort Of,” “Reluctant Alice,” and “All but Alice.”  And later this year, I believe, three books will be coming out under one cover called, “I Like Him, He Likes Her,” and will include “Alice Alone, Simply Alice, and Patiently Alice.”  But other than these two sets, all the others are sold individually.

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Should I Wait to Read Them?

Question:

I’m thirteen years old, and I absolutely love your Alice books! One reason I love them is because I can relate to Alice and some of her embarrassing moments. I’ve read all of the Alice books, up to Dangerously Alice. Alice is getting older, and I was wondering if there’s a point in the series where I should wait until I’m a little older to read them. Thanks for your time!

Phyllis replied:

 

At thirteen, I would think you’re emotionally mature enough to handle anything coming up in the Alice books.  The bigger question would be if you would like to read only the three books each year in which Alice is the same age you are.  If you want to enjoy them all in one big gulp, go ahead.  You can always read them again later, as most fans do.

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I’ve Caught Up to Alice

Question:

thanks for the advice that you gave me a while back about writing. I’ve been writing more and more lately, and it’s really helping me get my confidence back. Unfortunately, my mind picked a rather bad time to get inspiration for a new story – I start midterm exams tomorrow.

Also, I just wanted to say that I can’t wait until Alice in Charge comes out. Like many others, I can’t believe that Alice is already seventeen. What I find even stranger is that I got into the books when I was eleven, and now I’ve finally caught up to her in age. When she starts Grade Twelve, I’ll be graduating from high school. It’s weird to think that I’ll get to experience going to university before she does. Of course, she’ll be much older in the last book, but at this moment in time I’m still older than her character.

Phyllis replied:

 

It really must be weird, having a character you love age only a third as fast as you do.  I think it was with the book “Alice in Rapture, Sort Of” that I began stretching Alice’s life into three books for each year she lived.  It will be hard for me to give her up in 2013 when she jumps from 18 to 60 in one book, but a good parent has to learn to let go, right?

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