Saturday, July 19, 2008

Domestic scene with DVD recorder

Big, big discussion today, between folks downunder and their counterparts upover: Yuletide. Winter solstice, whatever you choose to call it. Does it mark the dormant time of the year? It's certainly supposed to. The tradition is that (and I'm quoting), "deity is reborn at mid-winter, escaping the underworld in the form of an eagle." Loosely ranslated into English this means, 'life gets a kickstart off the lengthening days as winter gives way to spring." In the north this is the perfect metaphor, but down here ... nope, sorry. Winter is the season when things GROW, everything goes gangbusters (including the people), trying to make up for the blister zone of summer. So, how difficult is it to make the model of wintertime dormancy fit into any traditional model that's going to encompass Australia?

I was on a bus one time, two thirds of the way to downtown Anchorge (Alaska). There was a Native guy sitting beside me, talking his head off. I got about one word in four, both because of the racket of the bus and the thick Athabascan accent, which can be difficult to follow. He suddenly broke off and said, loudly, "Goddamnit!" I thought that, at the very least, the bus had run somebody over. But no; he had just noticed how the grassed areas around Westchester Lagoon had gone brown. Which, to him, meant that summer was gone. I laughed a little bit and told him, "Where I come from, when the grass goes brown it means summer just arrived."

So there you have summer as the dormant period down here, while, simultaneously, winter is the dormant period up there ... or, to put it another way: both places are dormant at the same time, albeit for different reasons, and despite the fact they're a complete spin of the compass apart. How weird is that?

(Speaking personally, I'm an interested spectator at such discussions. Get folks onto the topics of politics, spirituality, the environment, best recipe for chicken soup, and they can get pretty steamed up. Stick your nose in, and you can get yourself into the market for a nasal splint.)

For at least an hour this morning I pushed and shoved the plot of my haunted house novel; I think I killed off about a half-billion brain cells, to no decent avail. Yup, I've plotted myself into a deep, dark hole. I had an intuition that I was getting a little bit too clever for my own good, but there are times I ignore the still, small voice at the back of my mind, and carry on regardless.

This appears to be one of those times, so -- you'll have to wait a while for the haunted house piece, and DreamCraft will be publishing the fantasy instead. That's okay: the fantasy was next on the list. We're just jigging the order a little, it all works out. Writing is like that, so long as you have a publisher who will cut you the slack. I can't imgine anything worse than being on contract, writing what you're told to write, when you're told to write it. Writing would become a job, and as soon as anything turns into work, 90% of the fun goes away. (I wonder if anyone's even bothered to ask hustlers?!)

Otherwise, the Mel-o-sphere is a flat calm. It isn't brillig, and no slithey toves are gyring or gymballing in any wake I know of (let's see what the spellchecker makes of that). Work chugs along, the Tour de France has a week to go, and it looks (mind you, looks) like an Aussie might actually be standing on the podium and wearing YELLOW in Paris. This one, I gotta see. I enjoy the Tour de France a lot ... which is not the same as saying I'm not relieved when it's over for another year, because after three weeks, sleep assumes the top spot on one's agenda.

Thank gods for DVD recorders.

No comments:

Post a Comment