This is the view from a few minutes ago. While not winter in Westeros, I would like to point out that the deck you see was shoveled an hour before this photo was taken. So yah, it be comin’ down.
I went downtown to check the mail and get groceries. A car with Florida plates tried to take a left in front of me and missed me by a half a foot. Oh, this winter is going to go be one to remember. But at least a White Christmas is now guaranteed. This white stuff ain’t going anywhere.
In the full bathroom off the hallway, there hangs a yellow wall toilet. It should have been replaced long ago but I am certain that my mother didn’t want to replace it a.) because it matches the sink and tub and b.) because she was too goddamn cheap. Yes, you can see what kind of mood I am in.
Since we moved back into this house I’ve done a lot of work of this thing. What it needs it to have the entire tank kit replaced but that’s above my skill grade. I have gotten better and one of these days I’ll replace the flapper. Any way, today I replace the handle for the third time, the lift wire for the second time, and strung a new chain. My wife will be overjoyed that it flushes again and I will nurse the carpal tunnel in my right hand for the rest of the weekend. But it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it again. At least until my mother-in-law breaks it on Christmas Eve.
While rewriting, it occurred to me that the book opens with three chapters each introducing female characters. I’m adding foibles and textures, getting things right. The photo above is a perfect example of how to get it right and how to be oh so wrong.
I have not read any Twilight books and have no intention of reading them. But I have read Harry Potter and yeah, Hermoine pretty much stands her ground as a role model. The one thing I can discern from everything I have heard or read about Bella is that it is very important to have a boyfriend.
So here’s a rule for creating a character, especially a female one. Make sure she exists for herself, she makes her own decisions, that her life is not dependent on her need or desire for a man. Oh sure, she can want love but that should not define her. Got it? Good. Now I am going back to work.
Yesterday we binged our way through 3 episodes of The Returned. The French TV series airs in the US late Thursday nights on the Sundance Channel (with English subtitles). With all seriousness, this eight episode series has to be seen to be believed. It is creepy, baffling, mysterious, moody, emotional (without being melodramatic), and very enigmatic.
The premise is that in a small French town in the Alps, the dead come back to life. Not all of them of course, just a handful. But this show is so honest in the depiction of what might happen if a loved one you buried years before showed up at your door it puts all of our zombie films and TV shows to shame.
There’s a young girl who returns to her now broken family, much to the horror of her twin sister, a young man who may or may not have been killed in an accident the day of his wedding, a little boy who cannot or will not speak, and a killer that the town would rather forget is now stalking the streets. The characters are deep and original, the acting is perfection, and whoever wrote this was a bloody genius. I hope that it fulfills its promise and that the ending will be as great as the series has been so far. Watch it, find it anyway you can. The Sundance Channel will run a marathon of all the episodes its aired on Sunday, Dec 1. I promise, you have never seen anything like this.
Writing down those bones today and working on another project as well. Contemplate your favorite John Hughes movie while I get back to work.
I find it fascinating that even after Hughes quite the movie business he did not quit writing. His children reported that he filled moleskine notebooks, always writing on whatever subject seized his fancy. The burn to create, to write, to ponder and imagine never fades away.
I don’t think the snow we got last week is going away anytime soon. Yesterday it got just above 30 but the ten day forecast shows nothing in the future that warm. But it does forecast more snow next week. In addition, the general consensus among weather people is that this winter will be COLDER than normal. I think those guys outside of town that are selling BBQ sandwiches out an army tent are rethinking their long term strategy. And the young cats run out and then run back in. Sneakers took a one minute stroll on the deck and then demanded back in. He’s under the bed here in the man cave, not far from a heat register. That boy has got winter figured out.
I’m not too threatened by a cold winter. This house is a little thin in the walls but we keep pretty cozy. More blankets, more sweatshirts and sweaters, thicker socks; we’re North Dakota natives and we’ve known the drill since childhood. It still amuses me to walk into the post office or gas station where you’ll see non-natives bundled up for Snowmageddon and little old ladies walk by them with coats unzipped and not a stocking cap in sight. Nothing like a seventy year old woman making a strapping thirty something have to turn in his man card.