Friday, October 26, 2007

Weather, Lawn Mowers, etc.

The weather has finally turned cooler here in the Austin area. Lows are in the 50s at night and highs in the 70s during the day. It’s a lovely time of year.

My electric lawn mower burned out but so far I’ve managed to do what needs to be done with a string trimmer. In the spring I’ll have to replace the lawn mower but for now I think I’ll be okay.

It’s funny how one’s attitudes seem tied to the weather. When it’s beautiful and sunny like this I want to DO things. I want to get out and exercise and enjoy the sunshine. Just as on rainy days it’s harder for me to wake up and I ant to stay curled up inside.

If you’re a writer, these are the kinds of details that can make a story and the characters feel more real to the reader. Does your character love to go out in the rain or hate it? Does your character love to be out in sunshine or won’t because he or she is terrified of skin cancer?

My electric lawn mower burning out is a nuisance but if you’re a writer, how would YOUR character handle such a challenge? Try to fix it? Cuss and throw things? Borrow a mower? Hire a lawn service? Improvise? No right or wrong answers, just possibilities—to show who your character is and/or create a plot possibility. After all, if she hires a lawn service and the guy who comes out is a hunk.... If he’s frustrated and the cute neighbor knows how to fix the mower.... If when he takes it in to be fixed he overhears something relevant to a terrorist plot..... If it’s the breaking point and your heroine throws up her hands and decides to run away....

If you’re a writer, you’ve probably finished each of those sentences with a story beginning to unfold in your mind. And isn’t that the fun of being a writer? Everywhere you turn there are stories to be discovered.

For me, this is a lovely time of year. A time to celebrate what’s good in my life. It’s a time to reflect on how far I’ve come and how far I still have to go to where I want to be in my life. It’s a time to get outside, do things, and savor this ideal weather for the short time it will last.

Here’s hoping each of you has a wonderful week, too!