Friday, 11 March 2011
Huffed and Puffed...
overcast, rain, temps plus 3
What a time! Terrible earthquake in Japan...tsunami. Frightening to watch. Very odd to be having breakfast in front of the TV - something we never do except in extraordinary times...watching the news and the tsunami approaching across the Pacific. At first we were watching the Today show - but they only seemed to talk about Hawaii and the US mainland. So we switched to the BBC and heard all about Japan and the Philippines and Australia and the smaller, low lying islands. As well as the US.
Thank Heaven it wasn't worse.
Puts what we've been through in the past few days into perspective. But what tumultuous weather we've had. From being pounded by snow storms - that photo was taken by a neighbor in Knowlton - to gale force winds (at least, i call them gale force) to torrential rains.
The winds were so strong yesterday they blew the satellite dish from the guest cottage, as well as the eaves troughing and the soffits. Practically blew it down. Poor Bal and Linda and Bethany, not to mention Wayson Choy who came for some peace and quiet to finishing his next book.
I'm back in Sutton. Came down Wednesday...and had everyone over (by everyone I mean the guest cottage friends) for dinner that night. Salmon, chicken caccitore, shrimp, brown basmati rice and a baguette sliced and made into garlic bread. and for dessert a selection of cheeses, pears, grapes, and gluten free brownies.
All bought in Montreal at a caterer. Except the garlic bread and rice.
Wayson left today. Delightful man. Brilliant writer. He brought some origami birds and folded them before dinner, as we sat in front of the fireplace. And gave one each to Michael and me.
Bethany, who is 15, sang at dinner - she has a magnificent voice. and yes, we made her sing for her supper.
We just had a blast.
Writing every day, of course. Often, at this stage, I loathe the writing. Scares me to death. I'd rather be doing anything else. But with this book I actually long to be in it.
have hit a difficult patch. have been going over and over the same ten pages...needing to adjust. it just wasn't quite right. A lot of info needs to be imparted, and new characters met...and it needs to be done carefully. So that you don't get lost or confused. And so it also seems natural.
Would Gamache really ask that question next? What would Beauvoir be doing? Is that what one of the witnesses would say?
One problem that became obvious was that there were too many characters. But I needed them in that scene. What to do, what to do? I walked around with that problem, and every day I'd try to solve it - then write some new pages. And every evening I knew it wasn't quite right.
But last night I think I got the answer.
Combine two characters.
It wasn't really the answer I wanted, so I ignored it for a while. Then finally relented. And felt huge relief. But it meant going back over a lot of what I'd already written, and changing it. Just finished doing that. Fortunately it also simplifies the scenes, and that is always a good thing. makes what's important clearer. Makes each character clearer.
Michael went over to the cottage this morning, where Gary was working to restore the eaves and the satellite man, Luc, had showed up. Poor Linda and Bethany - it was like an invasion. Surrounded by men crawling all over the house.
Now we're waiting for Phil - who is coming to talk to us about possibly converting the main house to geo-thermal. We had someone in about 10 days ago, to also talk with us...so this is the second quote and opinion.
Seems the way to go - though it's expensive to put in. pays for itself quickly - but still, a large hit to begin with. But fascinating to hear about.
Brother Charles, my contact at the abbey of St-Benoit-du-lac, continues to be very helpful, answering all sorts of mundane and sometimes riduculous questions.
In the meantime, over riding all this activity, we pray for the people of Japan. And all those effected by the earthquake and tsunami.