16 February 2014

The Sometimes Forgotten Villain

I like plans.

When I make plans, I like to stick to the plans. It makes me happy, makes me feel secure and, it feeds my not so inner control freak.

Let me take you through the events:
Three family members and myself were planning to drive from Utah to Ohio a few weekends ago for our niece’s gymnastic tournament.
We were going to rent a mini-van.
Then we were going to drive one of our cars.
Then my mother-in-law got nervous and told us not to come.
Two of our party panicked about the weather.
Then the weather really turned and the panic was warranted.
So we cancelled the trip.
My husband can’t move or not take vacation days once they are scheduled.
His brother—one of our road trip-ees—has a timeshare, felt bad about the vacation days and got us the weekend up in Bear Lake.
Which was very nice of him. Especially considering the 8th was our 6 month anniversary. Awe…

Now let me interject something here. At this point my sweet hubby said, “Hey, you’re unhappy with the way your current novel is going, why don’t you bring your stuff, I’ll bring a bunch of games or whatever to entertain myself, and we’ll make this a writing retreat for you.” He smiled. “Plus, this year we can count it as a tax ride off.”

A red flag should have gone off.

Please read the adventure of my last writing retreat.

I feel like calling something in my life a writing retreat (in which I am mostly in charge) is like uttering the lines, “Piece of cake” or “I’ll be right back” while smiling at the camera in a movie. These words should not be voiced.

Well, my hubby and I took our time getting out the door. We stopped for food, air in the tires, and supplies for the condo.  The rain had started to fall down here, but no snow.

Now I’ve driven to Bear Lake in the winter a few times during snow storms. I don’t recommend it, by the way, but it can be done. Especially in a 1984 tank of a Ford Taurus. And probably help from on high—really, we’re all lucky to be alive.

Anyway, we got through Sardine canyon with only a skiff of snow and a bit of slush on the roads. Logan valley was being hit with rain, so we went for it.

Right at the base of the canyon, a guy in a Civic blew past us and I was like, “If that car can make it, we can. If we see him on the side of the road, it’s a sign.”

Well, the canyon started out fine—a little rain and wet roads. The road got windy, and soon got snowy. But we still had tire tracks down to the pavement. I could tell my hubby was getting nervous by his white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel.

We saw two or three tow trucks bringing other trucks down off the mountain. But still no little Civic, so we pressed on.

I do have to say that Logan canyon is beautiful in the snow.

I also have to say that my brother-in-law may be trying to kill us.

There’s this stretch of Logan canyon that’s a pretty steep hill. It’s about the halfway point of the drive. We came up the first bit of the hill and turned through a little canyon where they had to blast away the rock to get the road through. And on the other side of it lay the Civic.

In the middle of the road.

Spinning out.

By now we had 4-5 inches of slushy snow on the road, and because we had to slow down for the stupid Civic, we lost momentum.

Yeah, well, apparently we’re only a little dumb. We tried to get up the hill for about a minute with about ten feet of success. My hubby pronounced our efforts “good” and we turned around.

By now the poor guy was stressed out, and wanted to drive back home. I talked him into stopping in Logan for food. Mostly because driving while upset isn’t the best idea.

During food (Jack’s Firewood Pizza, or something like that, is awesome, by the way) I suggested that we should at least spend the night in Logan. The canyon may be better in the morning—we could at least call and see what was up. And I really didn’t want to go home.

So, in proper writing retreat fashion, we were thwarted. However, and this is also a trend, we found an adorable little manor house that’s been converted into suites. I think it was called Alta Manor or something. The brochure is way in the other room and I’m totally not getting up to find it.

The place was awesome. We got to cook the food we’d brought. I got to write and my hubby got to sleep and go to movies. Plus bring me Diet Coke and ice cream. He’s so good to me.

In the end, it all worked out.

And yes, the roads all the way to Ohio were pretty terrible the whole weekend, so we were all glad we didn’t decide to fight that battle. I’ve found some leverage on my brother-in-law so he won’t try to kill us again, and I’ve revamped my plot and started the rewrites on the sequel for New Sight.

As this was happening, I remembered that I was supposed to write a few blogs in villains. Then I thought, “What better villain than Mother Nature herself?”

Seriously, if she’s against you, you’re in a lot of trouble. Or, as it happened for us, she might lead you right where you’re supposed to go.

Or not.

1 comment:

Greg Mischio said...

Great post Jo. I share your sentiment about Mother Nature. You might be interested in my take on her: http://alterthecourse.com/make-mother-nature-an-enemy-of-the-state/#sthash.SlN2VAzq.dpbs