(I feel like I should have made an Area 51 joke in this post or talked about aliens or something)
I’m not writing in my usual spot today. I’m sitting at the lake. Well, I’m sitting in my car in a parking lot looking at the lake. I can see the city of Cleveland along the shore, blue and purple and grey, maybe about 30 minutes away. It’s cloudy and a bit chilly, so no one is really out walking, and the lake is even greyer than the sky.
I was never much of a lake person, but the amount of times I went up to the lake since 2020 probably accumulates to more than I had been in my entire life.
Now I’m at the lake again, needing a different view, a different perspective, some clearer headspace, whatever.
There’s something to be said about sitting in a car (when the car isn’t moving, that is). I’ve eaten countless lunches in my car, in between performances, in between jobs, road trips, etc. I’ve read books, just sat and talked when two of us were just too lazy to get out of the car, or just didn’t want to move in fear that the conversation or mood would be lost once we shifted location. Maybe it’s sort of like being in a hotel. Everything is fun and different in a hotel, even simple things like watching TV.
Maybe it’s just that it’s out of the ordinary. Maybe because it pulls us from monotony. But it’s not such a violent change that it’s disrupting. It’s simple. It’s soft.
A soft adventure.
I never finished Wuthering Heights.
I don’t remember when I read it, but it wasn’t that long ago (maybe 2-4 years). I believe I made it to the final chapter. The final chapter. But I was so sick and frustrated with the characters (all of them, as I remember) that I just – couldn’t.
I seriously had one more chapter and I was just like, “I can’t – take – it anymore.” *died of frustration of all the characters’ erratic and idiotic and inane behavior*
Now I hardly remember the story at all, and only have a vague recollection of the dark figure of Heathcliff, a kitchen, a dingy living room or something, a dog (I think…), and moors. Obviously. Lots of misty moors and plains and what not.
There was a dog, wasn’t there??
I don’t think I’ll ever try to read it again, unless I have a burning desire to actually be able to speak eloquently about the book, instead of in just “vague vibes” which is all I remember of it.
But there is a merit to quitting books (and I’m not talking about books you have to read for school and stuff; that’s different). A lot of us have few precious minutes to read, and spending those minutes reading a book that we don’t like, don’t care about, just isn’t worth it.
Even if it’s a classic like Wuthering Heights, and even if you decide to quit on the freaking last chapter.
I’m currently editing a book in multiple POVs (and reading a book in multiple POVs as well), and the thing is…writing in multiple views I think is inherently a risk.
I don’t think (could be wrong) I’ve ever read a book in multiple POV’s where there wasn’t at least one POV that I didn’t like, or wasn’t that interested in.
And usually it’s not even because I don’t like that character, it’s usually because I either don’t like that character enough to care/be interested about what is going on with them, OR what is going on with one character seems so much more exciting to me than what is going on with another character.
And I think that’s the kicker right there. If there’s going to be more than one POV, the reader needs to love at least one and be at least tolerant of the others. BUT, what can hook them over the edge (“hook them over the edge”??? I don’t think that’s a saying) is if the things happening in each POV are equally exciting and interesting. And that’s kinda hard.
Because one character could have a really intense chapter, but another character could be having a really slow chapter. Now you might say that having a slow chapter after an intense chapter gives the reader a nice break, but for me personally I just feel like “BREAK??? WHO NEEDS A BREAK!! KEEP THE ACTION GOING!!!” (says the person who listens to The Dark Knight soundtrack at 8 o’clock in the morning like a maniac)
May I recommend to you all PBS’s All Creatures Great and Small? Yes? Cool.
I remember reading the book as a kid and loving it. It was amusing, interesting (all the vet stuff and calving and weird cysts on cows and stuff), and comforting. It was engaging, though it didn’t have heart-pumping action.
I feel like the show perfectly captures the book, perfectly captures James Herriot amusing, clever, and comforting way of writing.
(also, if you love the found family trope it’s perfect for you)
You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll be rooting for a cow to recover.
I was at Target the other morning. Monday morning, bright and early, just after opening so I could avoid people and uh *germs*. After I put my debit card in and took it out (I was at the self-checkout), I got an error. It didn’t take my card. For some reason I just stood dumfounded and staring at the screen for several minutes, wondering whether I should insert my card again. The obvious answer was yes, which I eventually did.
As I went to type in my pin, I suddenly realized what had gone wrong.
I hadn’t typed in my pin the first time. I had typed in my phone number.
This is why I’m not a morning person, despite that fact that I wake up early.
I’m now going to be heading home, leaving the lake and the grey skyline behind for a skyline clustered with trees and houses.
“The road less traveled made all the difference,” Robert Frost once said (or…something to that effect), and I’ll say a different view can make all the difference as well. Life can sometimes be dull or monotonous, but we’re not always up for big adventures and big changes. Sometimes we just need a different place to sit, a different place to walk, a new tea to drink or a new restaurant to pick up food from.
Sometimes we just need a soft adventure.