Sunday, 16 September 2012

"And now I'm going home"

14915 / 50000 words. 30% done!

I'm back! And apparently a weekend off was what I needed in the first place, because my wordcount is once again happily rising. I have my outlines back, and I'm tinkering with them a bit, thinking about story structure and character development and all those good things. I've had some ideas for extending the plot (which was, as it stood, bound to fall short of the necessary wordcount) and the characters are developing un ways that are new and exciting and making me happy. Progress all around!

As part of my weekend off, I a) lounged around the house and watched movies with my mother (The Holiday; it wasn't a masterpiece, but it also wasn't a half-bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon) and b) I went to a local concert in Gage Park. The performer, Heather Dale, has been a favourite of mine for quite some time- I believe I originally heard of her via Tamora Pierce's blog, where she linked to Dale's song "One Of Us" Since Dale is, happily, local to me, I got to see her perform (yay!) and get her autograph (double yay!) Her music is in a genre- Celtic folk- that I've always been fond of, which I guess is no surprise, given that I'm the granddaughter of Scottish immigrants. Possibly it's foolish, but I like feeling connected to my heritage- even if it is just by listening to "Mordred's Lullaby" on repeat. (Yes I know Mordred wasn't Scottish. Shhh.) I've only been to Scotland twice- once when I was two, and as such don't remember a minute of it, and once a few years ago as a post-graduation celebration. It's a bit of a weird experience- neither sides of my family (Scottish on my dad's, French-German on my mom's) have stayed especially connected to their ancestor's culture, but for whatever reason, that's only made me more determined to hold on to it. Culture's a bit of a weird beastie like that- I think the further away you are from the source of it, the more invested you are in keeping it. Maybe it gives you an illusion of belonging to something, although I don't really see it as illusory. Whatever community you're in, it forms part of you're identity. I'm not advocating for subsuming yourself into the group for the greater good (THE GREATER GOOOOOD) but I think for a lot of people- myself included- nationality and culture represent a sort of semi-family, something you're born into and choose to take or leave as you get older.

Whew. Heavy stuff for a Sunday night. But the section I just wrote had the two main characters discussing community and family, so in an odd way, it all comes back around. Here's a little bit of back-and-forth for you:

“But-” I shook my head. “Of course you need to worry about other people. Don’t you want friends? Family?”
“Of course,” she said impatiently, waving a fry in the air for emphasis. “But I don’t need to rely on them, is the thing. I never need to rely on anyone. Even if people take off, it doesn’t matter, because I can still take care of myself. No matter what.”
I stared at her. “That’s really what you want?”
She shrugged. “Nothing to do with want. It’s just how things are.”

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