Sunday, July 21, 2013

Writing Earthquake Scenes and Blogging Challenge Day Seven

Writing Earthquake Scenes

Feathers © Katya Becerra 2013

Earthquakes make me feel all quesy inside.

Where I grew up in Russia was not an earthquake prone zone, so I didn't actually experience my first quake until I was on an undergrad student exchange in California in 2003. It must have been around Christmas/Chanukkah because the three of us (me and two other IREX exchange kids who were based at the same uni with me) were living in our host family's house and there was definitely a Christmas tree present.


I can't really say I have experienced that earthquake though... because I kind of... slept through it. I even half suspected (at first) that my fellow student exchangers and host family were playing a trick on me because I didn't remember hearing any noise that morning while they all claimed the house was shaking, the family's pet Great Dane was barking, and one of my friends had to hold the Christmas tree in place.And all I did was sleep through it, so I have to take their word for it. More recently from the domain of personal experiences - last year we had an earthquake in Melbourne, and I didn't sleep through that one, but the epicentre was far enough from us and we only felt the tremors for mere seconds. What definitely terrified me though since I came to live in Australia is what've been happening in New Zealand and all the quake horror our neighbours had to cope with...

What's all this stuff about earthquakes, you ask?

Well, here is what: if someone who had some personal experiences with earthquakes and who can defiinitely comprehend the horrors and the state of fright an earthquake can cause from seeing it in the news etc, it would make sense that this someone when writing a scene featuring a kind of an earthquake (supernaturally caused but nonetheless very much real) would make sure that the reactions of all present/affected by said earthquake would be appropriate?

You'd think that, right? WRONG.

Ok, this someone in the above 'what if' scenario is me, and the book in question is The Hayden Project, and what happens in this scene is after the tremors are over, my characters look each other over, note that no one is bleeding and then they all just sit down to eat their family dinner.

And here is a comment one of my test-readers left for me pertaining to the earthquake/family dinner scene:  

...and they don't even talk about it?

Aparently, no.

I guess that's how they roll in the Holland family home: they suffer through the tremors stoically, then sweep the broken glass into a corner and then they sit down to eat. Com'on, they have others things on their minds, I guess.

I'm rewriting this scene, by the way... But I have to say I had a good self-deprecating laugh about my fail in writing the earthquake scenes. More luck next time...

Next item on my agenda is ... Day the Seventh of the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge...




On the 7th Day of the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge which was started by April @ Good Books and Wine, I'm to share with you my blogging quirks.

Well, first and foremost I'm OCD about formatting and grammar, but I do have the will power to stop at some point and just hit 'publish' because I'd end up not producing any blog posts at all... I'm peculiar about the way my blog looks and have gone through several design options, currently settling on the one with the clouds. I kind of keep coming back to this clouds template. I like clouds. I keep hearing about other bloggers I follow that Wordpress is a better blogging platform, and maybe it is, I don't know, but I don't think I'll be transferring to Wordpress any time soon. I like Google Blogger and so far it's been able to assist me in what my Blog vision had been.

I guess another quirk of mine is how I come up with the topics for my posts. You see, I have gone through several blog names and concepts since Among Other Things' inception in 2010, finally deciding on dedicating it to 'Books, monsters and shameless anthropologising'. I avoid dedicating this blog space completely to books, because 1. I have Kalinda Reviews Paranormal for that and 2. As I publish more and more of my own writing I'm going to step away from revieing books of other writers mostly because I don't think it's very classy to write what you thought was good or bad about someone else's work while you should be concetrating on your own. So, this is how I came to balance A.O.T. between books and bookish trends, my own fiction writing progress and pop culture more broadly. I still express my opinions about a book or two (I'm still a reader after all!) but I mostly try to blog about someone that hopefully is entertaining for other literary-minded people to read or informative in some useful way - after all those are two main things I find attractive in blogs' contents.

Check in tomorrow when I will share 15 things I like about fav blogs.



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