By Julie, from Snowmagedon, formerly known as Somerville
I have written this blog post three times. First time was about plotting. Second time was about character development. Neither of these topics inspired me to finish the post. Because all I can think about is snow. More precisely, the 11.3 more inches Boston needs to break the all time record for snowiest winter. We are currently tied for second snowiest winter, but with a bit of snow due tonight, we’ll move into #2. But I want to be #1.
This should in no way indicate that I am enjoying this snowy winter. I live in the city, and rely on walking and the MBTA to get places. Neither is easy. Commutes take twice as long. Walking down sidewalks means navigating narrow paths etched between buildings and seven foot walls of snow. If someone hasn’t shoveled, you need to walk into the street, and hope the traffic jam doesn’t unclog before you can get back on the sidewalk a block down. Even if I decided to drive places, there’s no where to park. Side streets are clogged with lumps of snow and ice that barely resemble the cars that are buried underneath. Honestly, we have no where to put another foot of snow.
But that foot will make this a record breaking winter. So I want both things–to break the record, and for no more snow. I am comfortable living with this contradiction. Most of my life exists in the complicated zone.
I blame it on being a writer. Part of creating an interesting character is showing her motivations. Some of them are in conflict with one another, and require either a choice to be made, or a compromise with the conflict. Certainly writing a crime novel requires wrestling with complications, highlighting some, misdirecting interest in others.
The younger me did not embrace complicated. I thought everything required making a choice. As I’ve gotten older, I realize that complicated is interesting. That sometimes you can’t choose, or don’t want to. That complicated is preferable to flat.
And so, I root for another foot of snow, even when the idea fills me with despair.
What can I say? I’m complicated.