Well, it is back to her real job for this author/biologist. I am sitting at over 6000ft with melting snow still out in the forest. Time to do SCIENCE!
This was perhaps my second experience with literary heartbreak. The first was of course "Charlotte's Web" but "The Call of the Wild" added something special to the mix. For the young reader that I was there was a profound sense of wrongness to the ending that I couldn't really grasp at the time. It disturbed me far more that Charlotte's death and it took many years to figure out why.
Buck is at the beginning of the tale a loved and pampered dog. Neither a house pet, nor a strictly working beast he is the companion of all his master's children and lord of his domain. Buck is in essence civilization. London, with his signature fascinating brutality, slowly strips this from the animal over the course of the story until the climatic end scene where the many times renamed Buck finally answers the titular call of the wild. That loss of comfort, of the assurances that civilization provides, and most of all of the people who loved him was really my first brush with the inevitability of loss in life. When I later read "White Fang" I was similarly disturbed by the scene where White Fang's mother, freed of the rope that had held her, chooses to stay in the camp of men despite her cub urging her to leave for the wild that had been their home.
Be it freedom or civilization London had a genius for drawing the reader in and making them value the characters and their lives. When the required conflict finally came it was often emotionally shattering, at least for a child first entering into her literary journey.
MQuills, my publisher with a busy Facebook page, posted an article that really spoke to me. Specifically it spoke to that part of me that could not tell the difference between a lower case 'b' and a lower case 'd' without memory aides until well into highschool. The list was of commonly confused words.
So on and so forth. The article gave handy descriptions of the differences and similarities as well as the author's opinion on weather or not the difference was still valid enough to bother correcting for in this day and age. Over all the article was a nice read, easy on the brain and educational enough not to tripe the 'wasting time on the internet' guilt-o-meter. As always I felt a sense of slight awe and respect. Once my dyslexia really kicks in there is no way I am going to remember that sort of stuff. Still that is what dictionaries are for.
Almost always the best ideas writers have come from their own life experiences.
Today's ideas include (but are not limited to) wrestling a 60+ lb farm dog into submission so I could take off his leg brace and then sitting on him for half an hour to ice his injured leg. Make every experience count!
D-Day Iwo Jima +1
The Allied invasion of that barren volcanic rock was in full swing by that time. LSMs were struggling back and forth loaded with US Marines in four foot surf. Fresh hands and clear minds were needed at the helms of the landing craft and one sailor was given his orders. A red-headed boy freshly 19yrs old. If he could be said to have a distinguishing feature other than his bright red hair, it was an ample sized nose. More pertinent to the moment he was trained to pilot the floating troop transports that were carrying the sorely needed reinforcements to the beach. He had been held back the day before, D-Day itself, for administrative reasons related to his birthday. Now it was his job to ferry his brothers to the embattled island. His unit had received their instruction in the waters off the Pacific Northwest Coast. They had been tried and tested in some of the worst surf conditions in the world and during the invasion that training told. Red's unit was the only one to not lose a single landing craft to beaching in the dangerous weather.
The invasion wore on and victory was eventually declared, the wounded were tended and the dead were counted. Red and his brothers waited on the island listening to the dire predictions for the invasion of Japan proper. He did not expect to survive. Red walked the graveyard outside of the little island post office and, as many soldiers did, reached out to God. He asked for a chance to go home, to marry the girl he had loved since the third grade, and raise a family with her. Then came the news. The war was over. Life could now go on. When the time came it was Red who turned off the lights and locked the door of the post office for the last time. He went home, married his sweet heart, raised a family, and passed away in due course.
Today we remember Red, and all of those who never had the chance that he did.
Love you Grandpa.
When one loves to read, really loves the experience of sitting down and drinking in another world or another mind, one face a deep issue. Namely the vast well that is literature in it's current forms. Not only do we have access to the entire breadth and width of the current English (or whatever ones native language is) there is the depth of the entirety of English history. It is not hyperbole to say that soon every word ever written could soon be available online. Added to that is the ever increasing downpour of new books that rain down at a rate of well over a million a year.
How does one choose? Which books are worthy of spending time with? Of course there are always the classics: Tolkien, Lee, Woolf. They sit in high places on my list but one cannot just ignore the deluge of new in favor of the know old.
It is a good problem to have I suppose.
Throughout much of recent history ice and snow have been well used and over used themes for gatherings of all sorts. Perhaps it is because there is an inherent, undeniable beauty in the way light refracts through frozen water. Perhaps it is because clear crystal automatically goes with any ice theme. Whatever the reasons "Winter Wonderland", "Snow Days", and "Ice Palace" have been party staples for generations spawning a plethora of blue, silver, and white decorations. This is fortunate for when one has to put together an ice themed party for a friend's daughter. Still a theme can be over saturated in the popular culture. And after long wet winter one is more waiting for things to get unfrozen than not.
I grew up with a science fiction fanatic mother and a father who indulged her fascination with bemused amusement. A C-3PO head shared closet space with an Indiana Jones hat and furry little tribbles watched over DS9 coffee mugs in the kitchen. Though I had never seen them due to personal taste, thanks to delighted descriptions from my less squeamish sisters, I knew all the important scenes from Alien and Predator. And being born after 1982 I had that irrational fear of earwigs that every Trekker has deeply ingrained.
So what franchises did your inspiration come from?
So yes, after several years of tactically applied blunt force trauma, spilled tea (with coconut milk and honey no less), and general wear and tear my faithful Gabriel laptop gave up the ghost. It helped that I tried to fix it myself. So now I am typing away on a brand new laptop. Again it is a small and useful little box with nor frills or fancy stuff. We will see how long Aesop here lasts.
Betty Adams is an up and coming author with a bent for science and Sci-fi.