April 4th, 2015

More Trees Down

A few years ago, we had a couple years of bad storms late in October/early in November. This was inconvenient, because we lost power right before we were due to go on vacation. The reason we lost power at least one time was because a tree across the street dropped part of itself on our service line. It bent the pole, so repair was a little time consuming. During a later year, more of the same tree came down, partially blocking the road, but sparing our power. Our cleaner saw it happen, and went from being very skeptical of the governor's travel ban for the duration of the storm to being cautiously supportive. I was just happy it didn't take the power line down again.

This year, during the recent winds, a different tree on the same property fell down the other direction, on the owner's house. It made a hole in the roof and a branch hit some lighting; the police called the utility and had them turn off the electrical main. The owners apparently are not home (Easter weekend; not exactly surprising).

I feel bad for them. If I lived there, at this point, I'd basically be looking at how much money I had saved up, calling Tom Tidman and town hall and a tree service and putting together a plan to take a whole lot of the trees down, because I wouldn't trust them not to be the next thing to fall down and cost me more money. Of course, I may be a little irrational on the topic, given that it cost us a bunch of money a few years ago.

I'm glad no one was hurt.

I Have Wonderful Friends

I've been poking at people to help me out with a fiction story. Two long time residents of Seattle have provided substantial assistance already with some of the backstory details for my cast of characters, which reassures me that there are not huge errors there that someone is gonna read and it's going to spoil there enjoyment because something impossible happens.

I also asked R. (High Priestess, altho not in her sacred capacity) for some help with the arc of the story. I was having trouble identifying the conflict and therefore the climax of the story. I described the plot elements and she suggested the alternating chapters approach (his chapter, her chapter, his chapter, etc.) and said she had seen it work well even when the characters weren't interacting much at the beginning of the book. Along with some other observations on her part, that made everything just sort of click. I reworked the timeline a little bit, and kept the previous girlfriend around for the first third of the book instead of relegating her entirely to backstory, and I wound up with a beautiful, three part story, and one of the first scenes I visualized turns out to be _perfect_ for the climax/crux/dramatic turn in the middle of the book.

Who knows if I will ever actually _write_ it, but everything this long I've written before had no pre-plotting done -- I either ripped off a plot from someone else (Leia at Hazard was a ripoff of Restoree, for example) or just had sort of a free form quest (Time and Mischance). It is downright _weird_ actually knowing the whole arc of the story ahead of time. (To be fair, the incomplete novel with Hale and what'shername actually had chapter synopses written for the whole thing by about the time I was halfway through it or thereabouts. But I didn't plot it out completely ahead of time. And I never finished it.)