Thursday, June 08, 2006

On the bus

Every time I ride the bus, I want to write about witches. And I ride a relatively witch-free route.

Here's what I wrote this morning. (It's not FMT, although I did write a killer new scene this morning, thanks to an excellent critique from Heidi.)

I like this because it's setting up the hero and heroine for a central emotional conflict: she retreats from the world, and he puts his cap on and goes after it. She destroys things (those plants'll kill you if you let them) and he builds things. She's part of the wild, and he's building the civilization that will pave it over.

I tell you, riding the bus is a very good thing. Here's what I wrote:

She plants digitalis and monkshood, pennyroyal and jimson weed. She seeks out the toxic, the harming, the poisonous, then nurtures it for just in case. Even the birds avoid her house, all of them except the crows, who have adopted the splintery, dark little house as their own. The burly little birds strut across the unfinished porch rail like they own the place, and sometimes she thinks they do.

They certainly have the run of the yard, picking off worms from the garden and making off with the sandwiches of the workmen across the street. The only time she stops them is when she sees them bullying smaller birds, tipping over wrens' nests just for the fun of it, and torturing baby bunnies from across the road. The rabbits are coming out of the woodwork now that the forest is being torn up to make room for a house, flushed out of their homes by encroaching humans. Those crows are a nuisance and she knows it, but they're her nuisance. She would rather deal with crows than people, these days. Crows, she can control.

Now, for instance, one of the men who's building the house across the road is looking up at the roof of her house and shaking his head. He's one of the carpenters, she thinks, and he's just had his sandwich stolen by a crow. He pulls his baseball cap down low over his eyes and sets off across the road to get it back.


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