Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Logic is Just A Part of It

Last week, at the Swap Meet, I came home with several treasures-- a talking hotdog for our D.C. Dawgz fundraising, a set of duck-shaped candles, and the fun book Wild Designs by Kate Fforde which prompted me to check out three more of her titles to read as soon as our electricity came back on.
I was driving home alone in the darkness with these books, as well as ten gallons of water to fill our cups, our dog & cat bowls, to wash dishes, to flush the toilets. (It's amazing how many ways we need water.) Suddenly I heard a man's voice. Strange, as I was listening to music on the radio. I turned down the radio. The voice was gone. So I turned up the music again.
Perhaps the radio had been tuned to two stations. But no. The station seemed clear enough. That man's voice sounded again.
I thought of the numerous e-mails forwarded me about safety for women in the city. How men sometimes hide in unlocked vehicles waiting for their prey. But I'd locked my car. Hadn't I? Oh, please. I shut off the radio and waited.
Moments later, I heard:
"Hotdogs, hotdogs. Ketchup, mustard, relish. Get your fixin's here."
The hotdog toy we'd found at the swap meet last week, and which was obviously being pressed on by gallons of water, played all the way home.
I got a kick out of all the explanations I'd come up with for that voice--some of them totally illogical.
Which reminded me of fiction. Your characters don't always need to think logically--that would be asking too much. Wouldn't it?


Dave LaRoche said...

Suppose, perhaps in imagination on that raining dark night, the hotdog man came further alive and pried his way into your most hidden and fearsome agenda. Suppose he turned over the hard, heavy stones you had never looked under before. Suppose, on that darkening night, that your subconscious, your only "other passenger," compelled you to look at some truths never before allowed light, and that in doing so, your view of your life was dramatically changed as a path opened up in front of you. But, things had to happen; steps taken that were never contemplated before. Suppose once revealed, the new insight became settling and a glorious life full of adventure and joy unfolded - right there in the rain-drenched windshield's reflections.

And suppose all of that happened an instant before your car met another, headlight to headlight, both skidding off the slippery wet road down, down into a very deep chasm (or maybe not).

Jana McBurney-Lin said...

You had my heart pumping, my palms sweating. I love it.

hidong36 said...

Jana, aren't you glad we, human beings, have hearts to feel, not just heads to figure things out?


Jana McBurney-Lin said...

Yes, I am--most of the time.:)

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My Half of the Sky was the BookSense Pick for August 2006 as well as a Forbes Book Club Pick.

"McBurney-Lin tells a wonderfully entertaining story with the traditional coming-of-age theme (which is experienced universally)...weaving in the cultural challenges of growing up in China's rapidly changing social system."
Mary Warpeha, co-President of the Minnesota Chapter of US-China Friendship Association
March 2010

"The novel ...includes many of the tales and the folk ways of the people living in the rural areas of South China, still followed provincially. The story takes place in current China, but could relate the dilemma of any young woman in rural China through the ages."
Kitty Trescott, National Board of the Midwest Region of US-China Friendship Association. March 2010

"A lot is expected of a young Chinese girl. My Half of the Sky by Jana McBurney-Lin is the story of Li Hui, a young girl who has just achieved marriageable age. She seeks to make the most of herself, but the expectations all around her make it difficult, as her parents seek to use her as pawn to their advantage, she is faced with what she believes to be true love. She must balance career, romance, and family, all to somehow make everyone happy, a tough endeavor indeed. An engaging and entertaining read from beginning to end, "My Half of the Sky" is a poignant tale of the modern Chinese woman, and recommended for community library collections.
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Friends of the Museum Book Review 2008

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Head Writer TV Series "Murder, She Wrote,"
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