Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Friday, 14 December 2001

Just a little time writing today. I'm struggling with the description in the climactic scene of the mummy story (now moved to the beginning). It takes place on the site where a building has just been demolished, and worked okay where it was. But I'm afraid the opening scene as currently described will make the reader think immediately of the World Trade Center, which will distract from the story I'm trying to tell. I need to describe this big hole in the ground with nothing left of the building that had stood there but the last bits of its foundation not yet hauled away and not have the reader think World Trade Center, or even think terrorism--the building has just been torn down to make way for a new one.

All I did this evening was fiddle around with the first couple of paragraphs for as long as I could stand it. If I were working on a first draft, I'd just go on and write the rest of it and then come back, but that's already done. Getting this first scene right is biggest single remaining bit of work.

It snowed this morning. It was the first snow of the season and didn't stick around for long. Even so, there were two accidents caused by people going too fast to stop on the slippery roads messing up my (very short) commute in the morning.

Today we got our Employee Appreciation Lunch at the Country Club. I felt so appreciated.

Jackie put up our hedgehog nativity scene today. We've done this for several years now, ever since Jackie made some costumes. Most of the characters are played by hedgehog stuffies, except for the three wise men who are played by a sandalwood sculpture of Krishna, a Nutcracker dressed like Santa, and Spleenwart, a yard-ornament gargoyle.

There's a mariner's compass quilt block playing the part of the star, and a hedgehog named Harold playing the part of the Harold Angel. (His costume is a pair of wings which look more like the wings of a house fly than of a bird--my personal favorite bit of costuming.) All but one of the other hedgehogs named Harold are playing the part of the heavenly host. Most of the remaining non-hedgehog stuffies are playing shepherds (except for the sheep, goat, and llama stuffies--they're playing sheep). The mermaid stuffy is up with the heavenly host too. I had originally voted for her as a wise woman to go with the wise men. I don't know if Jackie forgot, or rejected the idea for some reason. (Jackie tells me it's because the mermaid's hair is too appealing to cats for her to be safe anywhere but up high on the bookshelf with the heavenly host.)

The manger scene itself has the last hedgehog stuffie named Harold (the one holding a heart saying "I love you") as the baby Jesus, one of the female hedgehog stuffies as the virgin Mary, and Hezzie (our very first hedgehog stuffie) as Joseph. He's the wrong Joseph, though--he has a coat of many colors. Having gotten the Joseph wrong, we didn't hesitate to get other stuff wrong too. (Jackie says it's not wrong, She did not, however characterize just what it was. Perhaps "non-traditional.") There's a an altar in the manger with a couple of statues of Ganesh on it (and the altar itself has a picture of Santa on it) and several other Hindu gods represented here and there. Among the animals in the manger is a unicorn tapestry and an elephant-shaped teapot. The gifts are pretty authentic, though, including some gold (played by golden dollars) and some frankincense and myrrh (played by some Tiger Balm). (Interesting. My spell-checker knows both Frankincense and myrrh.)

Jackie wanted me to be sure to mention the spinning supplies on hand in the manger.

Time to go sing hedgehog carols.


Philip Brewer's Writing Progress homepage