Contrariness of Characters

Soup

Here’s what I decided earlier today should occur in the next scene. I took down this note:

‘What happens next: Pleasant evening with Ffip and Mars, Jeremy has soup and feels better.’

When I started to write it, however, I found that my characters are still bickering. Holmes and Watson were never this querulous.

 

‘“Are you really feeling all right?” Ffip asked.

“I’m fine.”

“You were so sick, Jeremy. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“I’m better now, thanks to all of you.”

“Mars has been taking care of your horse. He’s got a comfortable, large barn out in the yard, and he stopped in the market and had some hay delivered.”

“Sounds like I owe him some money.”

Mars creaked the chair when he turned around.

“I was going to keep the horse if you passed on, J,” he said, using a nickname of old.

“You’ll have to get over the loss.”

“The horse is so much less tiresome than you are, though.”

“Looking around this house of yours I’d say maybe you’ve gotten too used to having plenty anyway. You’ll get complacent.”

“Yeah, I had things real easy when my best friend shoved me off for no fault of my own, just as we were about to go into business together.”

“Seeing as how I shoved you off but handed along all the money we’d saved at the same time, I guess you did all right.”

“Having to deal with money instead of you? Yes, you’re right.”

“You do sound like you’re upset about it, though. Maybe you’re begging me for another apology?”

“Try it and I’ll flatten you.”

“Sheesh!” interrupted Ffip in a high voice. “Would you two mind giving this a rest for the evening?”

“I’ll be hard,” grumbled Mars. “I don’t know how I never noticed before how irritating Jeremy is.”

“I guess my fist in your face might be irritating,” growled Jeremy in reply.

“Actually no; care to try it?”

Ffip surged to her feet.

“Enough!” she exclaimed, and then glared at them. “Now, I’m not a servant here, you know.”

“No one said you were,” said Mars.

“I’ve made dinner for us, which was nice of me, correct?”

“Sure.”

“Then both of you,” she said with a frown, “shut up while I serve it.”

Smile Everyone!

I’ve just realized what my current Work In Progress reminds me of. I’d thought it was just a Steampunk Fantasy, and being that it’s called ‘Time Mechanic’ I thought I was writing a Dr. Who kind of story. (Dr. Who is a little dark, I think, so I’m not a true devotee.) But today I connected that actually my story is a nod to Holmes! Preferable subconscious! Therefore, I’m posting my favorite scene from The Great Mouse Detective. The bestest line from this scene? The phrase ‘horribly splatted’. Enjoy!

Drat and Double-Drat!

We Help Mommy

I got a little confused while writing my Work In Progress. It was one of those ‘what day did I say that happened again?’ questions. So I decided, like my dear friend in the writing group showed me, to do a nifty timeline of my story up to now. I discovered two tiny problems. One, I called Chapter Six ‘Chapter Six’, but oops, I called Chapter Seven ‘Chapter Six’ too. So that means that all the chapters after that are now misnamed! (I’ve written to Chapter Twenty-Two, oops, I mean Chapter Twenty-Three.) Argh!

The second problem is worse, and it’s one I should know better not to do by now! I discovered that day two of my story encompasses eight (count them; EIGHT) chapters! In other words, I think I may have just created the first 47 hour day! Of course, this is a fantasy I’m writing so perhaps on that world they have the (occasional) super long day, while all the other days go by in a more normal passage of time.

Perhaps I should just leave it. After all there’s the possibility that no one will ever read this story anyway, and there’s the even stronger possibility that they won’t notice this super long day if they do! Ha ha, I’m the master and I can do what I want!!!

But it made me start thinking. What would it be like if we took our days and summarized them on a little timeline? Would some of the days that God’s given us seem super long? I remember reading this story, We Help Mommy, to one of my kids and it made me laugh. (This is an approximate description following:)

We help mommy: by getting up, getting dressed, making our beds, tidying up our room, washing our hands and face, brushing our teeth, making breakfast, eating breakfast, cleaning up after breakfast, vacuuming, dusting, tidying the whole house, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, watering the garden… and then it’s lunchtime.

I thought, ‘Wow, this is the coolest and most efficient Mommy in the WHOLE WORLD!’

Then I wondered where I had gone wrong.

Let’s hope today I’m a better writer than housewife! (Although my family might wish otherwise!)

Today’s Little Ditty

I wrote this into my novel today. My second to the Main Character needs to forgive already! Of course, right when he realizes this, his best friend takes off and gets into  big trouble! Drama, drama and drama!

JigDitty

‘That night Mars couldn’t sleep. The conversation he’d just had with Jeremy swam around in his mind while he tossed and turned on the bed he’d made fresh for himself in his guest room. He remembered what his grandmother used to say to him when he was growing up.

 

‘Bad man comes; hold him away;

Never trust a word he says;

But if a good friend asks for mercy one day;

You’re the bad man if you say nay.’

 

The secret, she’d taught him, was in being able to tell a friend from an enemy.’

Today’s Snippet-From My Work In Progress- Reconciliation (Perhaps?)

Fight

“Mars!” he yelled. Pound, pound, pound. “Open up, its important!

The door flew open and he fell forward a bit, mid pound. He looked up and Mars was glaring at him like he’d never seen him do before. Jeremy decided his attitude was too much to bear. It made him angry and he shoved the fellow with all his might. Mars fell back for a mere second before he returned the aggression. Jeremy found himself on the floor.

Rule number four for Time Mechanics was that he couldn’t use any new skills given him for his own gain.

He didn’t care. He wanted to punch the man; more, he wanted to shred him. His eyes narrowed and he saw an opening and vaulted to his feet. He put a lot of force into that uppercut. Mars landed two feet into his front room and splintered a flimsy looking bench he had there. Jeremy rushed to stand over him.

“Listen, you stack of…” he started yelling before his feet were swept out from under him and he landed next to Mars a second later.

“No, you listen!” Mars roared.’

Today’s Snippet- The Fluffiest

FilleGrand

From my book about Cinderella’s Stepsister- one of the last I wrote with an outright Christian interpretation:

‘Slowly she turned around, ignoring the way her heart seemed to flush out into her chest. There he was, tall and dressed in finery that equaled every great Lord or gentling at the ball. Only on him the black supple boots, the trim legs and the pure white shirt under the expensive black velvet tunic created an appearance that surely topped even Prince Charm’s. He was so handsome she practically swooned.

Suddenly she was gloriously, furiously angry. Her little hands rammed him back against the wall.

“Do you know how frightened I’ve been for you, you SNAKE!” she gasped in a rage.’

Is This Going to Become a THING?

HeavensEarth

A bit hot under the collar, folks, so hope I don’t ruffle.

Here’s a question I’ve been asked recently. The first time it was from a woman who’d joined our writing group for a time. She had very strong opinions about things and was eager to share them. She said,

‘Oh, and about Christians. What’s with your God anyway? Why would you be interested in a God who sacrifices his own son?’

I admit at that moment I was shocked. I’d never heard of such a question, delivered with such derision towards my God before. I said something lame, like, ‘Wow.’

I figured it was just that woman’s point of view and the writing group wasn’t the place for a heavy discussion/argument, and I let it go.

So the other night I’m at the grocery store, in line. There’s this man who says he’s battling cancer, but its okay, he believes in God. I smiled, I believe too. He goes on and says he’s not swayed by people (Christians) who try to tell him how he should believe in God. He loves God, he says, more than most Christians love Jesus. And he delivers that question, again. ‘I mean, why would God sacrifice his own son?’

Wow.

I go blank, my friends. My mind becomes this huge computer sifting out files. The answer to that question is just so BIG.

‘Well, let’s see,’ I could say. ‘Let’s just go back over the entire history of mankind, and use for a reference the entire book of the Bible.’

To ask a Christian that question is like saying in a sneering voice to a fish, ‘what in the world do you want to swim around in so much water for?’

‘Well, glub glub, you’ll just have to take my word for it. There’s a reason, and it’s a good one.’

Isaiah 55:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

We don’t understand why God does what he does. There isn’t a shop down the street called, ‘Design-A-God’. We don’t get to decide who we think God is, according to how it seems He ought to be when we bother to think of it.

Number one message of the Bible is when God says: I AM.

He exists as more than just energy binding the universe and giving out jedi powers. He has personality. He has thoughts which are higher than ours. In short, He’s not a tame lion. If we want to follow God, we must accept Him as He is and try to understand what He’s doing.

Fortunately for us, He’s good.

The question isn’t, ‘why would God sacrifice His Son?’

The real question is, ‘why would Jesus be willing to be sacrificed?’

When God Almighty separates a part of Himself out, and sends Him down as a helpless baby, and loves that child with abandon and calls that child, Logos, His message, and that child grows and loves humans face to face, and then- all the time knowing what’s coming- decides to die for us anyway, there’s only one thing that could possibly be driving Him. Love.

When God loves us enough to do all of that, you shouldn’t sneer. And you shouldn’t traumatize a Christian into silence with such a question- as if none of it mattered at all.

Why was it necessary? That’s a question for another time. I only know that when a hero gives His life you should be appreciative. When someone gives you a gift, you should receive it with gratitude.

Morning Ride

bicycle2

This is my rattly, rustraption bicycle. I bought it for a hundred dollars off of Craigslist. It was made by a company, that has a sort of faded coat of arms decal-ed on it’s chest, Norman of England. It ticks, and creaks and people wonder what’s coming to get them when I approach from behind.

But it’s perfect for me. Old enough that people don’t try to steal it. A faded glory that reminds me… ahem, of myself. And, it glides. In all it’s one-speed majesty I cruise along- fast enough that I feel ten-years-old again, and slow enough so that I don’t kill myself.

bicycle1

So this morning I decided to take a ride. The poor old girl’s been neglected mostly all summer. I had to push it to the Town Pump up the street because our dog Hildegard chewed the end off our bike pump. I brought four quarters for the task. Like a pro I shot the air in my tires until firm and took off gliding.

‘Excuse me!’ I called, coming up on and then passing various startled passerby. On my ride I passed a gaggle of geese in the high school baseball yard, a litter of puppies being trained by their owners at the park, and our local herd of elk absorbing the last bit of mist in the vast fields before you reach North Bend.

I love living in Snoqualmie.

Writer’s Weekend of Fun!

BeachMem

I have the greatest writer friends of all time. Yes, that’s right. I like to brag. Imagine a group of friends who… uh, they all look a little tipsy here but it was just a little sip with dinner I promise…

SheltonGroup2

Anyway, imagine a set of wonderful friends who say, ‘Vicky, you must come with us to our writer fun weekend. We’ll cover your cost.’ I figured, because I’m built so terrific that way, I’d take them up on it, just to please them.

TreeSun

You see the sun here, shining through the trees. There was a lovely, pebbly beach nearby but these trees all around the house they rented in Harstine Island- well, they were of several different varieties, all happy to grow together, and all beautiful. I had to show the picture because that is what my friends are like. You see, here we are again. I’m the entitled brat in the pack- ha ha.

SheltonGroup1

Here is a pot of flowery stuff, that was on the nice deck.

PorchPot

Here’s a nifty shell-wind chime, that looked like a million bucks but didn’t play much of a tune.

ShellWind

And here is the murals I saw in Shelton, Wa. where we went out on the town to have dinner. Note the sun dappling.

Mural1

And the second… Really cool  because I think the sun dappling here is in the shape of a double heart… perfect for how I feel.

Mural2

The painted cars you see are a reminder for you to run out and find yourself some friends like these!