Monday, September 20, 2010
My family went to visit friends in Buffalo this past weekend. Their house is not big or new, but a treasure of curved archways, built in bookshelves, a corner sink in one bathroom, and a small cubby door once used for delivering milk in the back, by the kitchen. It is always immaculate, peppered with antiques, yet cozy and unpretentious—my kids’ favorite game there is to toss teddy bears down the stairwell.
My domicile, on the other hand, looks like someone dragged in a monster piñata full of toys, books, sticky popsicle sticks, dirty socks, and used Kleenex, busted that sucker and scattered the loot from hither to yon. I’d clean it, but it would revert to its chaotic state in 24 to 48 hours. I’d rather cover my eyes with my hands and sing La, La, La, cat barf is easier to clean if allowed to dry for a couple days, you know. Here is my dream home:
So in the grand tradition of finding more important things to do than clean, let’s ponder houses in terms of writing. Does a house or other building figure prominently in your ms? It doesn’t in my first book, a thriller. The characters are moving too quickly to detail their surroundings. But my next project will be set on a plantation in the 1850s, so I expect the main house and surrounding buildings to take on a bigger role.
Can you name any books in which the house plays a significant role? I must be tired because the only titles coming to mind are The Amityville Horror and Flowers in the Attic.
On an unrelated note, the show House starts back up tonight. I’m hoping to get the kids to bed earlier enough so I can shovel a path to the couch, clear a spot to sit, and watch it. First, I’ll need to launch a search party for the remote.