Friday, February 4, 2011

Great Expectations

No, this is not in Texas.
      So yesterday school was cancelled for today. With the promise of snow and constant TV progamming interruptions last night, thousands of Klein ISD kids in Spring, Texas went to sleep knowing they could 1. sleep in late and 2. play in snow (maybe for the first time in their lives.) 
     I hope they enjoy sleeping in, and I wonder if breaking icicles off the roof will be as much fun as building a snowman would have been. While all things are supposed to be "bigger" in Texas, snowmen are the one thing that breaks the rule. Generally, Texas snowmen are knee high or shorter due to our teeny, tiny snowfalls. And, like today, there are the snowfalls that don't quite make it to Spring, Texas.
     I grew up in the Chicago suburbs where I experienced blizzard conditions and walked to and from school in them (up hill and down, in barefeet--NOT.) The only time I remember a school cancellation was for the
one particularly gianormous January 
blizzard in a year that I will not reveal so I can remain eighteen-til-i-die. On my day off, I dug snow tunnels in the backyard, and my dad and I walked to the local grocer's for bread and milk. We got the last loaf of bread and found the milkman and his truck stranded in a snowbank and bought milk 
right there on the snow covered street. That's about it, memory-wise. Snow=pretty much no big deal to kids in Chicagoland. In fact, by now, I imagine there are lots of kids who are tired of it.
     But in Texas... 
       No snow today in Spring, Texas is a disappointment, even for me. I'd charged the camera batteries (yes, more than one) for those great photos I would take... :(
     The characters in plots I write often have great expectations and, of course, playing God to my characters, I twist the plot to delight or disappoint them. Nine times out of ten, their reactions to disappointment are much more exciting to write (and hopefully to read) than their reactions to whatever makes them happy, fulfilling their desires.
     Several brilliant authors have said it quite simply, "Make it worse. Make it worser. Make it the worst thing ever. Hurt your characters." 
      So with that in mind, I will trudge through another very cold but snowless South Texas writing day with emotional weapons in hand (well, in my mind) and give my characters a few good pokes and see what happens.
     But coffee first!


  1. I have to admit I was just as happy to wake up and not find a white ground outside. I did have to spend five minutes scraping ice off my car, which made me remember why I moved to Texas from Ohio ...

    Hope your writing is going well!

  2. Lucky! They always seem to be right when they predict snow up here in New England....

  3. Thanks for dropping by, Heather and Perri! New England! ahhhhhhh, Perri, I've been to Boston and Cape Cod in cold summer rain and look forward to seeing more of New England someday... preferably in the autumn without rain. Our leaves don't change color the way yours do! I guess snow is par for the course! Heather, I came here from Chicago--I KNOW snow too! :)