Sunday, March 25, 2007

In medias res

Saturday morning.

Suddenly a shot rang out!

Well, no it didn't. I just wanted to play around a little with the concept in the subject line tonight. "In medias res" means "in the middle of things." In literature it's the technique of starting a story in the middle of the action, and catching up with the background stuff later in flashbacks. The Doctor Who episode "Love & Monsters" begins in medias res. with a guy named Elton finding the TARDIS and then being confronted by an alien monster. Mages of Mâvarin starts in medias res, sort of, although it's technically a prologue:

Keni Tarso couldn’t help noticing that his father was trying to kill him.

A few seconds before, Filo Tarso had been smiling as they sparred in front of their house, offering encouragement and praising Keni’s improved parry technique. He’d even hinted that Keni had finally shown he was ready to go off to Thâlemar and join the Guard, like his brother before him. Now suddenly the elder Tarso’s face was distorted by hatred, and his sword thrusts were fast and reckless. He was also muttering something. As Keni struggled to deflect his father’s attack, he also struggled to hear his father’s words.

“Die. Die. Die.”

Knowing what his father was saying didn’t help at all.

Anyway, I mention the concept because I'm tired of quoting from Flowers for Algernon in my subject line, and because I'm very much in the middle of things right now. The photos at the top of this entry were taken, I think, Saturday morning. The one with the boxes was early this afternoon. The rest were taken tonight. We've got my office closet pretty much emptied, as well as my old desk, except for my laptop and scanner. John has packed up my QL scripts off the shelves behind my desk, and we've made a start on consolidating a bunch of old papers, throwing away old mail, convention flyers and such and keeping about 50% more than John wants me to keep of the rest.

John's also done some work on the outer wall, which needed some filling in at the top. We'll be painting it soon. Then we'll be ready for new flooring and new shelving, and to put together my new desk.

So I'm in the middle of that project, in the middle of figuring out that one paragraph in the other book, and in the middle of trying to introduce the new church website to the parish. Tonight I added a WooHoo "Ken Burns style" slide show thing to the welcome page. With any luck you should be able to see it here too. (Nope. It's refusing to embed.)

And last but not least, I'm waiting to learn whether a cryptic, rather scary note a friend got tonight as I worked on this entry is related to me, possibly because of a Wikipedia page I've worked on; or just someone's random paranoia about an entirely different set of people and circumstances. We may never know, but I'm taking it at least a little seriously. That scene between Keni and his father is strictly fantasy, but this note I read tonight reminds me uncomfortably between another conflict between parent and child many years ago. One day in my high school gym class, some classmates talked about Diane H's mother, who had gone to the elementary school and confronted a teacher there, claiming that the teacher was spreading lies about her. It was the first time I heard an example of paranoid behavior in the real world. A couple weeks later, Diane's mother killed Diane as part of a murder-suicide. This note my friend got tonight reminds me strongly of that tragedy, because it's a clearly paranoid rant directed at a total stranger for no apparent reason. I just hope that a) it isn't related to that Wikipedia issue I mentioned (in which case the paranoia could be directed at me personally), and b) whoever the person is gets help soon, and doesn't do any harm more serious than the spewing of words.


1 comment:

julie said...

Yep, deciding what to keep and what to trash is the worst bit.

I have to say that I love that red chair.