Monday, April 20, 2015
Bigger Than A …
You've probably seen the list of "I've lost a …" that floats around the interwebz and appears during about half the weight-loss discussions I've ever been part of. If not, check it out--it's good reading. Back when I was working on my weight, it amused me to say "I've lost 20 dozen large eggs." And when I was furiously gestating, it was daunting (yet still amusing) to say, "I've gained a mid-sized microwave and two guinea pigs, thankyouverymuch."
I've come to realize, though, that different people have different lists. When I'm fleshing out a character in a book, one of my favorite things to do is figure out what's important to them, and how that's going to color their take on the world. An artist might see colors and patterns, a chef might see ingredients, and a cowboy might compare a woman's hair to his favorite horse's tail and consider it a compliment. It's all a matter of perspective.
Thus, while I might consider that Wallaby was equivalent to a chihuahua and three dozen Krispy Kreme donuts at birth and currently weighs slightly more than a sperm whale's brain, the other day Arizona was bouncing him around rather vigorously (as Daddies apparently do), and said, "You weigh about the same as a good road bike!" Which he does, though it'll be a while before he approaches the weight of my mountain bike, at 36 lbs.
In mountain biking parlance, Arizona is a "weight weenie"--meaning that he'll go to great expense to swap out this component or that, in order to shave a few ounces off the total weight of his bike. So his weight vocabulary is often in terms of hubs, rims and tires. Then there was the other day when, upon finding that Wallaby is over 26" long now, he channeled his inner fisherman and said, "Wow, you're almost legal!" (In CT waters, a striped sea bass has to be 28" to be a keeper.)
Which gets me thinking as I sit down to write today … my hero is a contractor who loves his high tech and my heroine runs the vintage clothing store near Mustang Ridge. How are their perspectives going to color their worlds and the comparisons they make? Is his phone named Hal, or maybe Jarvis? Does she compare the color of a customer's shirt to the Fiestaware serving dish she has upstairs? We'll have to see!