Friday, March 16, 2012

En route from Aroostook County, Maine, to Marion, Massachusetts

436 statute miles
38° F
Winds light and variable

Drove down this afternoon to Massachusetts, where it's supposed to be in the sixties all week. Already I can make do in the house without my down vest on, although Shadow is sporting his stress bump already. Sometimes I try to see the drive through his eyes--all the confusing lights as we zoom by Boston, the tunnels where everything goes bright, and then the lights in the distance, and then the strange curves as we exit on-ramps and off-ramps. I may not belong in Aroostook County, but he's a Mainer born and bred. He doesn't even know what the lights of Presque Isle look like, let alone a city like Boston.

On the drive we listened to The Hunger Games, an audiobook that I'm halfway through for a second time, and which is plotted so brilliantly as to make me quail. It's such a brilliant conception, a sort-of The Lottery meets American Idol, and the force of the concept alone keeps the story moving forward inexorably. If you haven't read it already, you should now, if only to keep the ubiquitous movie trailer from stealing your own Katniss Everdeen from you. But maybe I'm just dazed from the road. If it's this year's frigging Twilight, as everyone seems to be saying, then it won't take long before the snipers start taking potshots, pointing out all the flaws.

Sometimes I just love the thrill of an exhilarating plot, carrying me forward, creating an unheretoforeseen universe and its attendant characters, and all the more if those characters are heroic and three-dimensional, but of course more good than bad. Maybe I have some lessons to learn. It's these dark literary novels that haunt me, but the ones that keep me up reading into the night are young-adult fantasy thrillers. What does that say?

I don't know. I'm musing. Hoping Shadow doesn't die of heatstroke in a house where the heat is set above 57 degrees. Or worse yet, in a coastal zone where it's supposed to hit 66 degrees this week. About time to be getting spinach into the ground. Maybe, by the time I get back, all of the ice on our cold frames will have melted.

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