Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Before the Storm

For a piece of fiction I'm writing, I've been trying to re-enter the frame of mind within which one functions as a hurricane hovers out in the Gulf, targeting us. In the story, it is hurricane Ike, an uncomfortable week during which one haunted the television and computer screen, looking for a change of direction from the track that took a bead on Galveston. Now it's obvious that the track was remarkably dead on.

My character is afraid of storms, though. Every gust of wind buffets her as well as the leaves above her. How to convey this? How many days in advance did one feel the advance belts of rain, gusts of wind?

The information available on the internet has been digested, with most of the juices extracted.

My memory of the event has been similarly dessicated. The third threatening storm in quick succession--it seemed almost unreal that this could happen. A Cat 2, how-bad-could-it-be, mentality seemed to govern, so a great many people did not evacuate.

The winds and belts of rain in the days that lead up to a storm rachet up the tension of the communities to be affected, but never until the last minute are some people sure enough to leave their homes, their things, and head for higher ground.

Any suggestions of blog posts about this would be most welcome.


jinksy said...

You have my imagination stumped! Waiting for a hurricane that is SURE to come seems like the biggest masochistic act ever!

sizzie said...

Could you find something that is also in peril of the storm, but not of the storm itself? Tell the story you want to tell, but sideways? Perhaps...and you can do better than this example....your central figure has a newly-planted tree in her garden. Maybe it was planted as a memorial to someone. Her focus then becomes what the pests, drought, coming storm, etc would do to the tree that she sometimes imagines as becoming old and immortal, if it can just survive its first few years. The storm forecasts are ever present, but so are her thoughts on the tree...which will have problems with or without the storm.

If you were to try something like this what would you put in place of 'the tree'?

Bdogs said...

Thanks, y'all. Good thought, Sizzie. I'm going to think about that.

Texas Legacy Lady said...

I'd try to vividly describe her actions, emotional state and perhaps what she was doing to prepare. Also, what are the sounds, sights and perceived intensity of the approaching storm and then the actual storm as it comes in?

Adding to her angst would be the t.v. commentary and then when it goes out, the battery radio reports. Then perhaps she has no radio or means of communication like the people in storms that hit Indianola in the 1800's and Galvestion in 1900. Can't imagine their horror and fear.

Good luck. Blessings.

sizzie said...

I'm back, having thought some more on your question. With the tree talk earlier, I was trying to say that you could find a focus that shared qualities with the storm anticipation and worry. Just now as I was rereading your post, though, it reminded me of something. You stated the main character is afraid of storms. Have you discussed why that is and tied in a memory to her apprehension? As I read of the impending storm, I was seeing pink insulation, the kind that goes into home building. After a tornado...for weeks afterward, we saw pieces of that insulation all over town, stuck to cars, in trees, in parking lots. I cannot see that pink insulation..even in a store now...without going back to the storm aftermath.

A good question, thank you for trusting us with it. : )

Barbara said...

Being afraid of this storm she has probably experienced a bad one before. The nerves start in, jitters, mouth dry, food has no taste. excessive thirst, sleep is difficult. Again and again she checks to make sure there are plenty of supplies on hand, batteries, water, gas tank in the car is full, where would she go? When should she go? It is so easy to be paralyzed by the memories and the fears. She listens and watches, the tv, radio, sky, the trees beginning to whip in the wind.

Jonnie said...

I miss your blogs. It was mid April when you last wrote and I hope you are just very busy and not experiencing any sort of difficulty.

Anonymous said...

What Jonnie said!

isabella said...

Even though it's May 5 could I still comment on this blog? I'm new to this and have never commented on your blog here, just on Mr. Leon's.