“The moment is a masterpiece, the weight of indecision’s in the air
It’s standing there, the symbol and the sum of all that’s me
It’s just a travesty, towering, blocking out the light and blinding me
I want to see”
– Kansas, “The Wall” (Not to be confused with Pink Floyd’s The Wall)
Wow. I just finished The Dark Tower series. I’ll say it again:
The is a series of books written from 1970 – 2003. Stephen King has been writing the series that long, and it’s only 7 books long. Well, except when you actually dig deeper into his writing, he has quite a few books that involve characters from (or that went into) The Dark Tower series:
The Eyes Of The Dragon
Bag of Bones
From a Buick 8
Hearts in Atlantis
(Not including the 7 Dark Tower books themselves!)
The Dark Tower starts slow, and how I managed to read past the first book (The Gunslinger) I don’t know – the first book is really pretty boring in my opinion. But it was Stephen King, so I HAD to read them sometime. After the second book (The Drawing of the Three), there was something interesting there. It took quite a while to figure out what the difference was – what made me continue easily after the second one?
Roland of Gilead (the… er… hero-ish sort of guy. Not quite anti-hero, not quite hero, not quite human sometimes, and very human other times) is a character I just can’t like. But with the Drawing of the Three, three main characters are added to the story – these people are likable. You can get to know them, identify with them easily. You’re drawn in by them, because unlike the Gunslinger, who is cold and removed from the world, these people are more “everyday” sort of people.
I went into reading Book 7 (named The Dark Tower) with a little bit of concern – first off, this was The End. Not just of The Dark Tower series, but also the point at which Stephen King plans to retire from writing. No kidding. And The Dark Tower basically sews together his entire writing career. If it ends with a happy, cheery ending it’s not good. If the quest fails, it’s not good (which is what I expected – that no one reaches the Dark Tower) I couldn’t see a single way he could have done it that made sense in the end, or made it not cheezy.
I was wrong, he found a way. Damn he’s good. Mr. King, the world will miss your ability to weave a tale like no other when you finally retire!
What completely suprised me was my reaction to two sections of the book: I cried.
A friend of mine at one time, Jeff Wilson, had said King was the only writer he knew that would spend 10 pages of a book writing about someone, just so he could kill the character off. Why? If someone shows up in a paragraph, and is killed, no big loss – you haven’t connected with the character. But when a character that you’ve become identified with dies, you’re affected. Just like hearing on the news that “So and So died today” doesn’t affect you nearly as much as hearing the guy you had lunch with last week died.
Well, Stephen King gave us 7 books to get familiar with the characters, and when they go through thier hardest moments, you DEFINITELY have connected with them. And when the worst happens to someone, well… you’re affected by it.
I think that’s the only time I’ve ever cried reading a book. OK, sure, that makes me a complete pussy 🙂 But it was really just that good of writing.
There is a touch of saddness here though – I really can’t imagine another writer taking on a project so varied and expansive, or making me cry again. I could be wrong.
The song above (The Wall) popped in my head at one point where for the first time the Dark Tower can be seen. I always thought the song had a very Epic sort of feel to it, and it thrust it’s self into the epic sort of seen that was being played out. Unluckly I couldn’t find a copy on myspace to point at for my profile for ya’ to listen to 🙁
It Begins Again
“I’m sick and tired of the damn TV
I’m gonna make my own movie
I wanna star in a late night show
And all I need is my video”
– Def Leppard, “Action! Not Words”
Now that I have the first of the automation projects done, and the R & S BBQ #1 crunch is just about over, AND I’m headed to Kenosha, WI, my thoughts have turned back to the script (and hopefully, a damned name for the movie!)
I ditched the last revision I started. And surprisingly, I rewrote the entire begining from scratch, something I had though I really liked in the first couple of revisions.
This one isn’t going to be balls to the wall to complete like the first one was – instead, it’s gonna take a while for it to get done. Some more character changes have occurred (which makes me feel bad – what started out as a fairly sweet girl character has turned into a bitch towards the end of this version), and quite a bit of little changes in the setup for it.
I think it’s gonna be pretty solid now. I hope. But no matter how I twist it and turn it around in my brain, one think keeps coming to mind: this is my first attempt at a movie script. It’s gonna suck.
But, then again, I just built my first construction project from begining to end: And it didn’t suck. In fact, it’s pretty damned good. Hopefully I can do the same with the script.
Wraping it Up
This is the final week of work on R & S BBQ #1 for me. I’ll be turning it over to the store manager on Saturday (since I leave on Sunday for Kenosha).
What a kick ass ride. I’ve enjoyed the shit out of what I’ve done. And it looks damned good. After I get back from Kenosha, I’ll have hammer #1 engraved, and buy the hammer for R & S BBQ #2. Which, uh, I won’t actually NEED the hammer for that much, since most of the work is done as exterior brick work, and very little interior work. But it’s the principal of the thing – each R & S I do, I buy a new hammer, and have it engraved with the store opening date when it’s done, and retire the hammer.
And yeah, I’m a big enough freak that I’m actually searching for the “ultimate framing hammer” for next time. I like my current hammer, but I actually want just a bit more heft on the head – something in the 28 oz. range would be good (though there are some massive 32 oz. framing hammers that exist. Talk about big mothers!) I thought I was probably the only person who got freakish about finding the perfect hammer. As this article points out, I’m wrong about that. That’s a pretty interesting review of just framing hammers. I’ve even thought about seeing if I can order just the kick ass handle from the hammer I use now (a Fat Max with overstrike guard, curved hickory handle) and ordering a 32 Oz. titanium head from somewhere else.
But um, back to the point (which was not to drive home the point that I have a fetish for the perfect hammer!) For better or worse, on Saturday I’m done with this one. There’s still the matter of cleaning the place up, and we still don’t have toilets (which will be installed by the original plumbers here shortly.) Then there’s the cleaning process – however many months worth of dust that’s been thrown in the air has to be cleaned up.
The next one is a major turning point in my life. My pay jumps from $10 / hour to $20 / hour. $10 / hour is beyond what I need to live, but, doesn’t beat down the bills very fast. $20 / hour? NOW we’re talkin’ some shit happenin’.
I mentioned R & S #2 going to be a major turning point for me, but, really I think it’s my trip to Kenosha that’s going to be the turning point. R & S is longer term income – projects like Kenosha are “burst income” that can be turned around quickly to pay off debts. This will be the first big “burst income” that I’ve had in quite a while – I have to do quite a few things with it, but, it’s enough to spread across enough bills to make me feel like I’ve gotten somewhere. Add to that having completed Spirit project #1, I’ll have actually put a real dent in things.
Adding the fact I have like 5 more projects with the same group, it’s a slow stream of those burst income sitations.
I might not only make my goals if I can keep doing this, I may get ahead of my goal dates. Cool. But if I do get ahead of my goals income wise, I’m not actually going to change my R & S retirement date – everything above that is just gravy, and helps me accomplish my year 2 goals!
But I’m not holding my breath – there are two many variables involved here. I might end up doing one more spirit project, and suddenly it all dries up. It could happen.
Along with all that, I realize there might be a shortcut to one of my goals: my house out in the country, setting on some land. See, dad still owns the house out in the country, and the land it sets on. He offered it to me once when they moved Valley Center, but I passed on it (I already owned a house at that point.) Hm. I wonder… is that still a valid offer? Kind of a strange concept – buy the place where I grew up out in the country? Kind a cool too though.
But there’s still a funamental problem: I really don’t think I want to live alone for a while yet. I haven’t really come up with a good way to reconcile that problem when it comes to this particular goal. I’ve got some ideas, but, well, that’s a ways off.