Sunday, July 10, 2011

When inspiration hits...

I'm out walking and the sky has a molting look about it, hanging between rain and sunset, giving off amber and scarlet feathers here, swirling with little cakes of bluish cloud there. I'm counting nesting birds (6) and chattering ground squirrels (3) and trying rather unsuccessfully to get my protagonist to tell me what exactly he's planning to do next.

ABC 1966 TV Shows
I'm just making the turnaround when WHAM! I'm struck in the back with what feels like a rock and a half second later, my whole right side is dripping in something wet and cold. I can't even manage to curse, and I merely make a kind of "Auargh" noise. My spine, where the thing hit me, is smarting like mad. Laughter roars past, and I see the truck blaring away, its bed full of people -- kids or adults, I can't tell -- among them the sniper who caught me off guard for shits and giggles.

First, I'm stunned, then angry, then (rationalizing and trying to act the bigger person) sorry for the stupid drunkards or gang members or whoever. To get your jollies beaming water bottles at walkers! Then, surprisingly, I want to cry. Just for a moment. Because it feels bad to be targeted like this, the bruise already swelling notwithstanding.

And suddenly I know that my protagonist, who's been singled out all his life because he's genetically different, must feel it a hundred times worse. When he's pegged with sanitizing spray bottles and sticky adhesives that ruin his clothes. When he runs across ALL GRUBS DIE carved into the wall... Oh, poor Jaffrey, I think, horrified. I begin the walk home, steeling myself in case the truck made a U-ey and is on its way back. My WIP? I know exactly what's happening next.