In Jumpstart the World, Frank tells Elle, “The world doesn’t always play by its own rules.” He says we all agree that there should be equality for everyone. But of course there isn’t. And we just let it slide. He says, “That’s why there’s such a thing as activism. Sometimes you have to jumpstart the world just to get it to be what even the world admits it should be.”
For 5 ways you can "Jumpstart the World" check out Catherine's blog post
GIVEAWAY Want a chance to win your own copy of Jumpstart the World? US/Canda ONLY, sorry.
1). For everyone who hasn’t had the chance to read Jumpstart the World, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure. My name is Elle. I just turned 16. And I live alone. Weird, I know. My mother pays the rent, but still. She moved me into my own apartment because of “The Donald.” Her idiotic new boyfriend. He seems to think he didn’t sign on to getting a teenager in “the package deal.” Like he’s buying my mom on the stock exchange or something. But you know what? It’s bullshit. I didn’t really even get on his nerves at home, because I hate him, so I stayed in my room with the door closed. It’s a…thing with him. I don’t know what kind of thing to call it. Like he has to win. So he said to my mom, “Choose. Her or me?” So guess who she chose? I know. It’s really sick.
In some ways it’s okay, though, because I’m not completely alone. I have some friends at the new school, Shane and Wilbur and The Bobs. They’re gay, and I’m not. Not that I care. It’s not a big deal. I just figure everybody thinks I’m gay now, too. But they did anyway, so…whatever.
And my best friend is Frank. He’s sort of more than a best friend, in a way. I mean, not really he’s not, but he is to me. He’s a lot older. And he lives with Molly, who’s also my friend. But I love him. I just do. He’s a trans man. That took a little getting used to on my part. Not because I have a problem with transgender. Because of my loving him the way I do. But I got over it. And I still love him. I think when you meet him, you’ll get why.
2) How would you describe your relationship with your mother?
(Strangled noise in throat.) That’s a hard one. That’s hard to know even where to begin. First of all, she doesn’t listen to me. At all. And she doesn’t see me. She looks at me. But I can tell she doesn’t see me, because she thinks I’m just like her. I’m nothing like her!
And I just can’t make her see about Donald. Like that cruise he decided to take her on. Big happy surprise! Right on my birthday! How obvious does he have to be before she gets it that it’s like a game with him, winning out over me?
And then, here I am living on my own like a grownup, and then she comes barging in now and then acting like she’s my mother and I have to listen. You can’t have it both ways. You’re either the mother or you’re not.
Crap. I probably never should have gotten started on that. Sorry.
3) What kind of music do you like to listen to? Do you have a favorite band?
My absolute favorite is Janis Joplin, which people think is stupid, because she died decades before I was born. But she’s so intense. Her voice is like…it’s like she doesn’t sing the lyrics, she screams them, and I can hear a piece of myself in those screams. When I listen to her, even if I don’t sing along, I feel like I’ve had a good screaming session myself. I feel emptied out. In a good way. It feels good.
4) For someone so young living by themselves, do you think it has made you grow up, emotionally?
I guess I thought I was all grown up, emotionally. But, looking back over the past few months, I see more about things. I don’t think living alone all by itself would have done it. I could have just curled in on myself more. I think it was Frank. And Shane, and Wilbur, and The Bobs. But mostly Frank. Knowing Frank grew me up a lot. (Wilbur helped, too. I love Wilbur.)
5) If you had to choose someone to play your role, if your story were a movie, who would it be?
Oh. Damn. I wish Clare Danes wasn’t too old now. If Clare Danes could somehow magically be the age she was in My So-Called Life…I don’t know, like a time machine or something…that would be perfect.
6) Can you tell us some surprising things no one would know just by looking at you?
That I’m scared. Most of the time. I act like I’m not, and I say I’m not. But I totally am. Sometimes I think I’m pulling it off and other times I think people see right through me. Also that I really do like to have people around, if they’re the right people. You know. A little company. I act like I don’t. But I think that’s just because of all those wrong people. But I get lonely, just like everybody. And no matter what I say, I really need friends. I guess we all do. Right?
Just comment below with your email address and I will select one person at random.
Ends November 12th, 2011 11:59 p.m EST
Want a chance to win your own copy of Jumpstart the World?
US/Canda ONLY, sorry.