Katrin’s Chronicles

So what’s this new book about?

At age 13, Katrin DuBois decides it’s time to write her autobiography. So much has happened since 1968 when she was in middle school. She was a star reporter and then editor for the school’s Gazette, and definitely has the skills. So it is only natural that she document the adventures she shared with her elder sister, J. Dyanne, during the past three years before she becomes distracted by freshman year.

From Katrin’s Chronicles:

“To begin, let me clear up a few things.

J. Dyanne does not communicate with little moon aliens or Martians. She does not have a crystal ball, nor was she responsible for the outcome of the last presidential election. And she certainly does not command the dead. She may speak with them from time to time, but command them? Who can do that? What could you possibly use to exert pressure to obey? I mean they’re already dead. Perhaps threaten them with life?

The idea that J. Dyanne is some kind of evil sorceress is, to my way of thinking, perfectly silly, regardless of what certain people who live around the corner might think.

And, it’s not fair to label me as abnormally different, either. Just because I memorized the Gettysburg Address doesn’t make me a genius. I mean, it is a memorable piece of writing. Besides, one of my many uncles bet me I couldn’t. And the money I subsequently won came in handy. But I admit, I love the words. I mean, “Fourscore and seven years ago…” Sure, Lincoln could have said, “Eighty-seven years ago…” or “In 1776…” but the flow just isn’t the same, you know? I confess, I love words and language. They have, quite literally, changed my life. But that’s another story.

Finally, contrary to popular belief, J. Dyanne does not know everything. This is not a slur — she’d say the same thing herself. However, let me also say that she does have an incisive, fiercely inquiring mind that grasps complex concepts with some degree of ease. It is this that gives those of lesser quickness the impression of omniscience.

For instance, many still believe that it was J. Dyanne who, in March 1968, prophesized the accident that resulted in the broken leg of one Derek Fremont, the then thirteen-year-old delinquent who still lives three houses down. But what do you expect will happen when you ride backwards on the handlebars of a handmade, motorized bicycle? Even I could have predicted the result and I only possess the vision afforded by the glasses I have been forced to wear since the 4th grade.

But at the time, people were prone to believe anything.

It was Chicago, August 1968, a time of extraordinary things, when the unbelievable turned out to be very believable after all. Therefore, I will, through these official chronicles, do my humble best to clarify the chaos and set the record straight. If I don’t, who will?

As Grand Anne also says, if you don’t write your own history, someone else will make it up for you.

I will return to the beginning. A time when I was a regular sixth grader, innocent of what I now know was a turning point. It all began on a fairly ordinary day on the South Side of Chicago in a neighborhood of modest homes and two-story apartment buildings, on tree-lined streets and fenced backyards. That day culminated in the first of a series of events to which the local press gave the fanciful title of “The Strange Case of the South Side Seer.”

Nonsense, of course, but the media does like a fantastic story to feed the frenzy.”

Copyright © 2013 by Valerie Woods

posted by Valerie C. Woods
on May, 02