Thursday, October 28, 2010

Loving Rain, and Other Things that Make Me Weird

Were all Americans to be polled, my general views on what constitutes happiness would place me distinctly in the minority on many issues. Case in point: today was a gorgeous cloudy day, with rain imminent, and I had a much harder time focusing on work than I have had all summer through all those bright and clear sunny days. You all can have your sunny days. I'll take a day with clouds, any type, any day over a crystal-clear blue sky.

I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that most of the activities I love are indoors: writing, reading, playing video games, watching quality TV (like Cake Boss), spending time with Cody and friends (though this works outside, too), painting, playing with my cats, etc. All these activities are made cozier by rain and stormy skies.

I've got a plethora of other opinions that throw me clearly into the minority: I don't like apple pie (or pumpkin pie, or cherry pie, or pretty much any pie), and no, this doesn't make me un-American, as Cody claims. I don't like eggnog. I don't like coffee, not even the smell. I don't believe that busier is better or that more is better, either (and that includes money, too—more can be nice, but it's not always better). I don't want children. I'm not religious. I love rain. I love the way it feels, the way it smells, the way it tastes.

I've considered that some of these beliefs might affect my writing. They might make my characters less rateable to the general public. But I can imagine quite clearly loving pie (if, for some odd reason, that's imperative to the storyline); one of the first things I usually build in a fantasy world is the religion, since spirituality is at the root of every human culture; and I can imagine the emotions the average person feels about children, especially if I, say, insert the image of a kitten instead of a baby.

Of all my non-majority opinions, the only one that affects the verisimilitude of my characters is this: I forget that most people don't make it out the front door without coffee. Most don't face work without it. Most savor that first sip like it's the only thing binding their sanity to their soul. Most people have a signature way they take their coffee, and it's a very specific formula. None of my characters have been coffee drinkers because I don't know how to savor it. I don't know how to drink it, and I can't think of anything that I drink or eat that I treasure as much as I've seen people treasure coffee.

That, and my characters are a bit more cheerful about getting caught out in the rain than most.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this. While it's great to relate to characters in a book, I also love getting inside someone else's head and learning how they think and feel and why. -CS