Saturday, August 27, 2011

Storm Coming On

It's been a weird week, with hurricane warnings coming so close after the earthquake.  I guess this is one of those times I should be thankful I don't have oceanfront property?  The sky's been cloud-dark all day.  At 11:00 AM it was still as dark out as it had been at 7:00.  It's like the sun just decided not to bother today.  

We have battered down the hatches, so to speak.  We've filled several five-gallon buckets with water just in case the electric goes off.  People are speculating that we could be out of electric for a few days.  Or not at all.  You never know ahead of time.  That's the whole point behind preparation.  I guess I ought to dig my flashlight out of my suitcase so I'll be able to find it if everything suddenly goes black.  

I'm not actually too concerned.  we've had nasty storms before (one or two that sent us scurrying to the basement just in case) and the worst that's happened has been the occasional fallen tree.  My past experience has been `not that big a deal' so that's what I expect from the future.  Overconfident? Yep.  But I don't think people believe in a worst that could happen without some experience to draw on.  You can't fear what you can't wrap your head around.  That's a good thing.  Keeps us sane.

This is supposed to be a literary blog.  It somehow morphed into a writing blog, and now my last two posts have been about the weather.  (Well, if you count earthquakes as weather.)  What can I say?  Really interesting weather we've been having lately.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Earthquake

We had an earthquake here on the east coast yesterday.  That's pretty rare.  Fortunately, it wasn't bad in my area.  At first I thought someone was just stomping really hard while coming up the steps (which I guess says something about the floor of my bedroom.)  

There was no wild crashing, no roof caving in on me or floor giving way.  My teacup collection rattled and my bed, which I was sitting on, trembled a bit and that was it.  

Apparently the earthquake did some property damage in Washington.  The news warned that there might be aftershocks but so far if there have been, I haven't felt them.  Facebook is full of comments on the earthquake (including mine.)  I kind of wonder, if I lived someplace like California where earthquakes are more frequent, would ours have been worth all the notice?  

I remember a few years ago we got some really nasty snowstorms and my college classes let out early.  One of my professors commented that where he'd come from, up north, people wouldn't have canceled the class, but there everyone knew how to drive safely in that kind of condition.  They get snow more often and less ice.  My mother is a nurse and has to deal with life and death situations -not every day, but certainly more often than I've ever had to.  I think I'd go crazy from the stress if I was her, but I'm not a trained professional.  

So much of what a person considers dangerous depends on where they are and what they're used to dealing with.  I'm really thankful that I'm not used to earthquakes, or blizzards, or life-and-death decisions.  I hope I never will be.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Sorry I didn't get a post written.  I spent the day canning peaches with my mother, and it slipped my mind.  I'll try to get an extra post in sometime mid-week to make up for it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I've been working on a drawing this week that has me thinking some more on the topic of back-story.  I"d decided to draw my background and my characters on separate sheets, then overlap them.  Of course once the overlap happened, a lot of details disappeared.  Some of them were favorite details.  I'd spent a long time getting them perfect, and in the final picture, no one will know they ever existed. 

Backstory is a lot like that drawing.  You spend a long time inventing a mythic past, or figuring out the floorplan of a castle, and then the story takes a differnt twist and the castle never appears, or the myth just bogs everything down and has to be cut.

When that happens its easy to feel like you wasted a lot of time, but you haven't, any more than it was a waste to lay out my picture on two different sheets of paper.  The bits that don't show are still affecting what's around them.  The shape of the room is different because of the stove that's almost hidden by my figure's dress.  The shape of my invented society is different because of that myth that never actually made it into the story.  Sure, it's a lot of work, but the effort shows -even when it feels invisible.