Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Truth of the Matter: Week 2

Want to find that crystalline moment?  Can't remember the details?

Try Googling.  You can find information about the weather, the headlines of the day--national and local (if you want to pay), and even the pictures and names of the local plants and animals and their growing seasons if you want them.

Here's an example of how you can weave it in to a story from Sue Grafton's Q is for Quarry excerpt (book available from our library here and from Amazon here):

It was Wednesday, the second week in April, and Santa Teresa was making a wanton display of herself. The lush green of winter, with its surfeit of magenta and salmon bougainvillea, had erupted anew in a splashy show of crocuses, hyacinths, and flowering plum trees. The skies were a mild blue, the air balmy and fragrant. Violets dotted the grass. I was tired of spending my days closeted in the hall of records, searching out grant deeds and tax liens for clients who were, doubtless, happily pursuing tennis, golf, and other idle amusements.

I suppose I was suffering from a mutant, possibly incurable form of spring fever, which consisted of feeling bored, restless, and disconnected from humanity at large. My name is Kinsey Millhone. I'm a private detective in Santa Teresa, California, ninety-five miles north of Los Angeles. I'd be turning thirty-seven on May 5, which was coming up in four weeks, an event that was probably contributing to my general malaise. I lead a stripped-down existence untroubled by bairn, pets, or living household plants. 

One of the things that Grafton does well in this passage is give us an exact name as well as a general description.  I didn't have any clue what bougainvillea was, but with "surfeit of magenta and salmon," I was able to get a feel for it.

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