July 28th, 2007


[travel|process] Going to Kansas City, gonna get some foreshadowing today

Off to Kansas City soon. Mmm, ribs. Mmm, something that is not work.

I've been reading a Certain Book lately, in small snatches as my schedule permits. It's got me thinking on the relationship between foreshadowing and Stupid Character Syndrome.

Foreshadowing should be subtle and even somewhat misdirected. Mysteries live and die by this. The critical information, the warning, the clue, is blended in with words which are doing other work — description, characterization, plot advancement, or ideally a number of these things at once — so that later the reader can slap themselves on the forehead and say, "Oh, that was why Uncle Ivan's revolver had a cracked pearl handle." If the reader instead says, "Man, what a moron that detective is, it was always obvious Aunt Tatya was the killer," then the foreshadowing has failed and instead we have Stupid Character Syndrome.

There a tendency in the series of which a Certain Book is the terminal volume to provide foreshadowing with large blinking neon signs which are obvious to the reader but invisible to the otherwise allegedly intelligent, thoughtful and magically aware characters. Which pretty much saps them of their intelligence, thoughtfulness and magical awareness for me. I suspect the auctorial intent is to help the reader along with the plot, and I celebrate the success of a Certain Book, the series from which it stems, and its author. Still, both as a reader and a writer I like my characters to be smart, just like the story they inhabit.

[travel|photos] A grand day out, Kansas City style

Had a great trip down to Kansas City today with garyomaha and elusivem. I went by their house about 8:30 this morning to throw some laundry in before we took off, and got pictures of Collapse )

elusivem has about six varieties growing in his tomato patch, and this one really took off.

We headed down to Kansas City on back roads, initially. Just south of Murray, NE, we spotted Collapse )

It was parked right here. mckitterick, that's within screaming distance of you, I think. A thing of beauty truly is a joy forever, after all!

We also stopped in Nebraska City, NE to see the Lied Center, where we happened upon Collapse )

Eventually we hit Jack Stack BBQ, the original Holmes Road location. We shared a stack of onion rings and an order ham burnt ends (which were not impressive), then I tucked into the Collapse )

The sides were so-so, the sauce was adequate, but the meat was some of the best I have ever tasted.

From there it was a family errand for garyomaha, then downtown where we stopped at Collapse )

We headed home via Collapse )

Along with stops to look at Collapse )

All in all, an excellent day.

(Most of the above photos are geotagged in Flickr, if that's of interest)