The End Times Are Upon Us: my first earthquake (awesome!)

26 11 2011

I have pneumonia. Earlier this year I was rotten parasites from my trip to the Yucatan. A month ago I dropped with a dance with E-Coli that took fifteen pounds off of my weight (and maybe two years off of my life). It has not been an easy 2011. In a twist of geophysical poetry, Oklahoma has also been undergoing some unusual perturbations. Take the last two weeks for example. The appearance of the Aurora Borealis in the night sky, and unusual autumn outbreak of large tornadoes and the largest earthquake in the states history followed by thirty+ aftershocks of varying length and intensity. All in all- a great week. Followers of my blog or writing know that geology is a passion of mine and I’ve always considered it something of a shame that I grew up in a region that was as geologically settled as Kentucky and Florida. I had no expectations that Oklahoma was going to be any different, tucked as it is in the middle of the North American craton, with a fault that hasn’t been active since the late Carboniferous. Yet at three in the morning, as I was perched at my desk reading, the dachshund came running into the room howling and spitting in the way only a wiener dog can and suddenly the house began to roar. I think that the noise of the thing is what has stuck with me the most. The shaking, the tinkle of glasses and the swinging of fixtures and pictures were all notable, but the sound- you could feel the sound. It was like entire sonic registers were being cast out of the earth that were only detectable to dachshunds and the parts of you that manufacture dread. Fantastic.

I should try to wrap this into a writing lesson somehow. For instance, I feel as though I can more accurately write about earthquakes now. Actually, the movies get earthquakes pretty right, which they should, being as Hollywood is right in the middle of earthquake central. Still, I’m thrilled.

I suppose that’s all I have at present. I have a pile of slush six feet thick that I need to get through. I read about ten stories the day before yesterday. They were not the best submissions I have ever wrestled. I want to encourage all of you writers to ask yourself a couple of questions before you send your story in: “Is my story stupid?” and “Should I really force this down some poor guys throat?” I’m joking, of course. The questions that need to be asked are far more subtle than that, but after dragging my sick ass out of bed and suffering through half a dozen “mystical serial killer” clones, perhaps I’m not kidding after all.

More soon

The Science of Fiction




One response

23 12 2011
Simon McCaffery

Yep, those Oklahoma earthquakes were fun. Our dachshund was also not a fan. We still need to all have dinner in ’12 when things calm down. Hope your holiday is terrific.

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