Monday, July 14, 2008

Left hanging

Something momentous happened in this household yesterday. I achieved a bit of a personal milestone and had a computer free day - yes folks, you read right, a day without turning on my computer! Sure, I stole plenty of passing glances as it lay there, closed, feeling redundant and unloved. But, I resisted the temptation to flick it open for even the tiniest of peeks.

So, what does a girl do when she's not wasting hours looking at unnecessary stuff on the computer?

I got continually beaten at cards by Mr Six-Year-Old. Playing him at cards is a hiding to nothing - that boy is a shark in the making.

My ego couldn't cope with the continual thrashing so I went and finished a job that had been waiting a while. When you make curtains, they recommend you leave them to hang for a time to even out. The curtains I made in the boys' room had been hanging for three-and-a-half years! Not being willing to climb up a ladder and pull down about ten kilo of fabric, I measured and sewed the beasties still hanging up. Amazing how you can teeter a sewing machine on an ironing board propped up to its highest setting.

It also turned out to be a bit of a writing exercise. It got me to thinking about characters (as you do.) What do we know about our characters and what snippets of information build a picture of who a person is? Would, for example, the knowledge that a character can wield a sewing machine just as well as an axe add to a reader's perception they are a capable individual? Would the reader need, or want to know that?

How much information adds interest and texture to a character, and where do you draw the curtain between useful snippets and saturation?

I'll finish with this picture from my friend Erin, taken in Idaho Springs, Colorado. I wonder if this is an issue for them in the school holidays...


Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for using the computer to tell us about your computer-free day!
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Vanda Symon said...