Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Acclimation

Another busy week. Much of it was not planned by me. Haircut tonight, Cats tomorrow, Bosom Buddies (mom's breast cancer survivor dinner group) Thursday, political activism group Friday and a baby shower and my lamb's play on Saturday. I will barely have time to farm, let alone breathe.

Thankfully, I am taking two days of vacation this week. My dog will have a chance to stretch her legs.

Storm season has begun in Kansas. While cutting masks last night, I watched as tornado warnings were issued for a county to the north. (I don't know why anyone lives in Washington county; they've been in the thick of the warnings for five years running).

In Kansas, we have tornado sirens. These are supposed to warn anyone outside if a tornado has been spotted by a person or indicated by radar. People inside are expected to have their weather radios on. Sirens exist because most Kansans don't bother to look up anymore. When you live with the threat of tornadoes, you learn not to pay attention too much or you'd spend your entire spring and early summer huddled in the basement waiting for judgment to fall. I've spent some time down there on my knees myself.

I've heard they have sirens in Arizona that announce tee time. I can't imagine.

Of course, every place has its threats. Earthquakes in California, wildfires in Texas, liberals in Washington, D.C. (sorry, couldn't resist). I remember a hurricane warning in Hawaii we all ignored because "hurricanes never happen," even though they do. I suppose it all depends on what you're used to.

In writing, you the author must overcome this acclimation of characters to the unavoidable. The whole point of a story is to create a situation where the status quo becomes unbearable and something must be done to change it. This striving creates tension, tension creates interest, and interest gets the story read.

So, the next time your unavoidable, uncontrollable situation arises, make a few notes of your reactions. They may come in handy when you write that next scene.

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