January 9th, 2017


Up and Down

We’re having a fairly normal Texas winter. I spent Friday afternoon working in my office while watching snow fall. I will possibly end up working at least a little bit this afternoon sitting on my patio. I’ll probably be patio officing most of the week. Then Saturday is another possible winter weather event, which I hope doesn’t go for worst-case scenario, as I have the Choristers Guild winter workshop this weekend, so I have to actually drive on Friday and Saturday, and I’m the scripture reader in church on Sunday. The up-and-down temperatures can get annoying, but in a way I don’t mind. I can deal with a few days of cold when I know I’ll have a few warm days to look forward to. It just would be nice if we could occasionally find a happy medium. This year we’re either below freezing and well below normal or in the 70s and way above normal. I wouldn’t mind a few days with highs in the 50s and lows in the upper 30s. But at least we’ve had more hard freezes this year than we got last year, which should mean fewer bugs next summer.

Now that Epiphany is over, my house has now been de-Christmased (though I do need to make a couple of trips to the garage now that it’s warm enough). I always dread that because I feel like the house will look naked afterward, but it’s funny how quickly it just feels normal again. Though I do miss having Christmas tree lights in my bedroom. That made for a nice way to bridge between the full light of the lamp and having all the lights off. Maybe I should look for a ficus tree or some kind of artistic ornamental branch I could hang lights on.

I’m going to have to really dig in and write this week. I was hoping to get a draft done before the workshop this weekend, but that seems unlikely. I’m about halfway through, but most of what I wrote Friday will have to be undone, as I realized that it was the big midpoint of the book and all that was happening was people were making speeches. I spent Saturday and Sunday brainstorming and making lists of things that could happen and replotting the book while trying to put myself in my characters’ heads and figuring out what they would do in this situation, and now I think I have a solution. I’ve even started seeing the movie of it in my head.

Meanwhile, I checked out the new series Emerald City, the latest Wizard of Oz telling, last weekend, and it’s rather interesting. They’re taking the basic story elements and updating them, putting the action into a fairly gritty Game of Thrones-type world. Dorothy’s an adult nurse who was left as a baby with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. She’s in a police car when the tornado hits, which gives her some useful supplies and a German shepherd police dog (that’s our Toto). They seem to have done some decent worldbuilding, as there’s some kind of mythology/backstory going on with the Wizard and witches. Our “Scarecrow” is a man found semi-crucified, wounded, and with amnesia (“if I only had a brain …”).

I think that last part may be what sucks me in because I love that “who would you be if you didn’t know who you were?” trope. Clearly, this guy has been through something. He just doesn’t know what it was or why, and since Dorothy knows nothing of him, she has to take him at face value. He doesn’t even know what he looks like until he looks in a mirror, so he will be entirely defined by the actions he takes and the choices he makes.

I need to add this trope to my literary bucket list. I did something similar with Kiss and Spell when everyone had fake identities but still found their true selves, but this is different. I actually have an idea brewing where this might fit. But first I have a few other things that need to be written.