Monday, December 29, 2008

looking into the crackly fire

Ah, the crackle of the fire, the click of the keyboard, the shush of skis on a snowy glade, the fire of whiskey down the throat. It's all good.

Kirk and I have been holed up in Central Oregon, thanks to some very generous folks who loaned us their cabin. We've been skiing, walking, napping. We've made some fabulous meals, relaxed and played and worked a little too. (Where there's wi-fi, there's billable hours).

Last night I dreamt a little bit about my novel. Which is always a good sign, right? When your imagined world enters your nighttime fairy walk? There were vehicles involved, and I think they were driving off of cliffs. Or snow banks.

For years and years, I've wanted and resisted to throw a character into fatal peril via a Christmas tree truck. Seriously, way back in the early nineties, I had this scene all written out. It was near the end of a story, and I'd taken the Christmas holiday and twisted it up with a fatal collision. I deleted the scene, not wanting to tempt fate. After all, I'd foretold several disasters by writing about them: backed up septic systems, marital divide. I wasn't about to ring the dinner bell on a head-on collision with a Christmas tree truck.

But. I must write that very scene. My character who has seizures because of that scene needs her fifteen minutes in ICU. I know all the words, even: she'll have sustained a
skull fracture with traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhages, which just so happens to be the cause of death listed on my first husband's death certificate.

My husband wasn't hit by a Christmas tree truck, btw. It was a teenager who'd fallen asleep at the wheel. Decades later, I've still not written a successful scene that captures the mood and the tone and emotion of extreme trauma. I want to do it with this novel. But at the same time, I'm chicken. I don't want the gods to punish me for looking into the fire, y'know?
So far in this book there has been a suicide, cancer, stroke, marital infidelity, teenage pregnancy.. oh yeah, and homicide.

One tiny head trauma shouldn't be such a bump in the road with this clan, right?
Well, in my novel, the last chapter I wrote ends with "that" phone call. Actually, the phone has merely rung. Nobody's picked up yet. Tomorrow's challenge: the news must be delivered, the siblings must react, the ICU must be visited.

I'll let you know how it goes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. If you have trouble posting a comment, let me know!