Thursday, August 30, 2007

In The City

After twelve years of living in an urban environment you’d think I would have picked up a little common sense. Things like – don’t take a long walk on trash pick up day. But, alas, when I set out on my morning walk I didn’t look at the calendar. What does Atlanta smell like? Not magnolias.

I was walking and trying to contemplate where I’m heading in my current WIP, Wild Iris. Deciding the ultimate fate of a secondary character requires both voodoo and logic. The character’s life hangs in the balance and I have ultimate power. (imagine maniacal laugh) So, I’m powerwalking along trying not to breath too deeply while singing along with Britney Spears “Toxic” and what do I almost stumble into?

A dead cat. Which makes me unbearably sad. And, since it’s a voodoo and not logic kind of day, it also presages the ultimate fate of my character. He’ll be pushing up daisies instead of smelling roses. Or trash.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Getting Through the Big Black Moment

The nice thing about romance novels is knowing that the big black moment is coming, and the characters will sail right through it and find some kind of resolution. That's why we read these things, after all, isn't it? Because in real life the big black moments come sort of willy nilly and you just can't guarantee yourself a happy resolution.

I like all the "with age comes wisdom" crap - maybe when you're 70 the BBM is just a blip, but I'm finding that this summer my BBM's are coming with startling regularity. And I havne't been finding much resolution - or even much wisdom. Whoever is writing this story I'm living has obviously developed a sadistic streak.

I've tried all my usual tricks - when in doubt pull a tarot card. When in serious doubt - get out the chocolate stash. When in complete doubt - start a new diet.

What I've finally settled on is music. I'm just going to put on some Yeah Yeah Yeahs and hope whatever is at the root of my personal BBM's will be driven away by the raucous beat and winding guitars.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Sounds of Silence

I took my daughter and my niece to see the IMAX film The Alps at Fernbank last week. Sitting in an air conditioned theater was nice. Sitting in an air conditioned theater watching a film about a snow-covered mountain was BLISS.

As we waited for the film to start I took the chance to do a little people watching. I'm not out in public much because, really, who wants to drag kids around in our Saharan heat, so when I get the chance I really soak it in. I like my moments of silent contemplation, but I noticed something really disturbing as I checked out my fellow IMAX goers. So many of them were sitting there fiddling with cell phones, PDA's, game boys, etc. Their moment of silence was totally taken up with little bitty screens and bright colored blips.

Has contemplation just for the sake of stillness gone entirely out of fashion? Can't anyone amuse themselves with the contents of their own brain anymore?