To Have a Gun or Not….

Taking a different direction for a blog post today.  As you may know, I live in the Deep South.  Guns are fairly common.  Most men, and some women, hunt on a regular  basis.  It really cuts down on the grocery bill! I grew up around riffles and shotguns, I was taught from a very young age not to touch them, they were kept looked up and away.  When I was in middle school my father took me to my grandfather’s house and taught me to shoot his first rifle.  More than anything from that day, beyond hanging with my Dad, I remember the nasty kick it had and the painful bruise it left.

I’ve never felt the need or desire to hunt and I really don’t like the taste of wild game.  For the most part, rifles and shotguns were the weapons I grew up around and there were very few accidents caused by guns.  For the most part…. but then there’s always that one person who thinks rules and safe practices don’t apply to them.

My best friend through most of my childhood was shooting fireworks New Years Eve.  Her older brother decided to shoot straight into the air in celebration of the new year.  That’s bad.  To make it more fun, he had a few beers first.  That is also bad.  My poor friend ended up in the emergency room with a bullet in her buttocks.  Needless to say, as 12 year olds, we had a lot of fun with that.  I’m sure that tale will end up in a story one day.

My friends brother broke 4 rules:

  1. Only idiots shot straight up in the air.  Gravity does still work.
  2. Drinking and guns never mix.
  3. Shooting at night is bad, I think in most areas it’s even illegal.
  4. Shooting in residential areas is illegal.

The older I get the more I hear about hand guns.  I never saw a hand gun until I was almost 30, no one I knew had one.  Except cops.  I’m not a fan of hand guns, you don’t use them to hunt so what’s the point.  For the most part, I associate hand guns with thugs and paranoid city slickers.  Not too long ago, I was at a Guild meeting.  I was the youngest woman there by 15 – 20 years.  We were sitting around talking and some how the conversation switched to guns.  I was shocked to learn that the majority of blue hairs sitting around that table were packing heat.  I made a mental note to call before I show up at their house at night.

Why am I bringing this up?  Good question, it sounded better in the car.

My protagonist in Dead in the Water and part 2 that I’m writing for NaNoWriMo, her name is Coco, must decide on if she will have a gun. These are mystery novels and being the protagonist, Coco finds herself in sticky situations.  She has mixed feelings about guns, and does worry that it will be used against her.  To add to the uncertainty, she questions whether or not she would actually shot someone.  So that’s where I am.  As I write for NaNo, my character must decide if she will have a gun or not.  We shall see…


Hurricane Frederick

Forgive any typos, I’m writing this in a rush.  I had planned on using today to work on my synopsis and plotting Book #2 for NaNo….but like most times, life had other ideas.  I have family coming over for dinner so I must clean house and cook.  The family has been quite indulgent of late with me ignoring everything but dishes and laundry.  There are things I must do today.  SO on with it.

Hurricane’s are just part of living in the South.  It’s not a matter of if they will hit, but when.  Thankfully, we are usually given a few days warning.  Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30.  That’s a long time.  Hurricane’s are a part of life.  We learn to adapt.

The first hurricane I remember occurred September 12, 1979. I was 6 years old. I vividly remember packing up the car and driving with my family 45 minutes north to Citronelle, to avoid the storm.  The prediction was the storm would head into Mobile Bay and straight up the state.  Citronelle would miss most of the storm…. not exactly.  Hurricane Frederick came ashore 10pm over Dauphin Island as a category 3, winds up to 145 miles per hour.  We were not far enough north.  That night I remember the winds, possibly a tornado, pick my grandparents house up.  It could have been worse, a lot worse.  The next day we made our way home.  Our house was still standing.  Amazingly, 3 very tall pine trees were knocked down in the storm, none of them hit our house or those of our neighbors.  It was a miracle.  Around here, pine trees are the first to be cut down when you move into a new house!  We had only been there for a few weeks before Freddie hit.

The fun was just beginning.  We spent a month or more without electricity.  Unlike some, we still had clean water.  What I remember most was an odd mix of excitement and fear, before the storm.  I could see the nerves of my parents and grandparents.  I didn’t really understand what was happening.  I just knew it was a big storm.

Afterwards, the days were filled with the hum of chainsaws and the clopping of axes. School was out for ages.  The TV didn’t work, so the kids were left to climb on fallen trees, board games, and exploring the neighborhood to checkout the debris. For the first few days, food was awesome.  We had to eat everything in the freezer, before it went bad.  Dad cranked up the grill and tossed everything on it.  We grilled meat, as well as veggies.  After that, it was dry cereal and sandwiches until the power came back on.  We couldn’t go fishing, too much debris in the water and roads close to water were washed out and had to be rebuilt.

I remember loading up in the truck with my Dad to get ice or gas.  Both had lines for blocks and took an eternity.  We got by.  To a small child, there was a hint of adventure about it.

As an adult, with children, I see hurricanes differently.  By the time my oldest was 3, we had evacuated for points north 5 times.  We stayed for Katrina.  I remember watching the pear tree in my front yard bend until it finally came straight out of the ground.  We didn’t have much damage from Katrina.  We live on higher ground with no close bodies of water.  Others in the county, and surrounding states weren’t so blessed.

Funny thing about hurricanes, they become markers in time.  Some storms are quickly forgotten, they rush in, bluster a bit, and fade away.  Others, leave lasting impressions.  My parents generations measured everything by Hurricane Camille (1969).  I measured everything by Hurricane Frederick.  Those hit hard in 2005, measure by Hurricane Katrina.

Why am I bringing this up?  Easy Hurricane Frederick just celebrated it’s 35th anniversary.  It’s been in the news again.  More importantly, my WIP for NaNoWriMo takes place during and after a hurricane.  I’ve always wanted to write a story around a hurricane.  The possibilities are endless.  The working title is, Dead in the Eye.  I kind of like it, kind of don’t but it works for now.  It is the second book in a series.  (I hope)

Coffee of the morning:  Cinnful Nut

Do you have any Hurricane stories to tell?



Row80 Wednesday

Time for the Wednesday update.  Be sure to visit all of the Row80 blogs.  I’ve accomplished a little.

  • Writing: I am toying with the idea of NaNoWriMo.  Even though I know I can’t reach the 50,000 word goal.  I enjoy the fun and sprints.  Summer camp with NaNo was lots of fun.  Anyway, I’m almost finished editing my WIP, that will leave me more time to write.  Knowing how much time I have, I’m starting small, 3,000 words a week.  This starts after I finish editing.  Look me up at NaNoWriMo I go by Writechik.   I pulled out the rough outline I made 4 years ago.  Read through and froze in my tracks.  I wrote the outline  when I finished the first draft of Dead in the water.  After looking at it again, it sounds too much like  Breaking Bad.  There was a nasty teacher who was the mastermind behind a meth ring.  What’s funny is, I don’t have cable and have never seen a single episode of Breaking Bad.  Now, I have to go back and come up with something else.
  • Editing: Finish editing my WIP, Dead in the Water. Finish edits by October 21.  On track.  I have about 30 pages left. Then I need to print it out and reread it.
    Just finished edits.  Yippie.  Now, I have to go to work.  Bummer.
  • Submissions: Start submissions October 22  Nov.1, send out 2 a week the rest of the round.  Stop laughing….think positive.  Pushing the Submissions back to Nov. 1.  I’ve got the WIP printed out. This morning I’ll be making a list of agents and publishers to send it to.  Yikes!  That’s scarey.
  • Social networking: This is the hardest.  I am bad at just liking a post or a tweet and leaving.  So my goal for this is to respond more to blog posts, even reblogging, and be more involved on twitter. That’s not measurable.  Comment on 3 blogs a week. I’ve commented on 2 just this morning.
  • Blogging: Have 2 nonRow80 blog posts a week. I’ve only posted once this week, should have one up tomorrow.
  • Coffee: Master my new coffee pot.  Apparently there is a learning curve.  Done

I’m on track.  Makes me happy, I think I will celebrate with chocolate 🙂