rightUntil my last library visit, I did not even know this existed. Not the book, not the mini-series, what the heck? I know I'm generally out of the loop but when it comes to authors that I admire, usually I have some semblance of a clue. May I buy a vowel, Alex?
Because I was unaware of this book, I certainly wasn't looking for it. But as I perused the shelves last Thursday, the name Stephen King jumped out at me. (He's a scary guy, of course he jumped out - Boo!). I was curious, because I was unfamiliar with the work and honestly I only saw two thing: the name of a favourite author of mine and a title I had never read before. That is really all I needed to say, "Yup, bringing this one home with me". Checked it out and went on my merry way.
I honestly had no idea it was a screenplay (even though it says so right there on the cover.,..honestly, sometimes I am so oblivious!) and was delighted to find out once I finally took a few minutes to sit down and begin the book on Monday.
There was a wonderful forward by Mr. King that grabbed me from the very first page. It felt as if I was having a conversation with this amazing writer. Goody. So I snuggied into my favourite reading spot and began the very important job of scaring the absolute crap out of myself.
I already knew that I would love this book.
Most 'horror' movies/books/plays do not interest me in the slightest. Not a fan of guts and gore. But there are a few brilliant writers who are just so damned good that I cannot resist. To me his work is more dramatic mysteries that happen to also to also have absolutely ghastly leanings. I love the pacing, the attention to detail, the character studies, the bizarre humour (and there always is some) and the compelling way that the reader is drawn in.
Then there is the fact that this is a screenplay and not a novel. While everyone who knows me also know that I adore a good novel, a screenplay is such a different shade of purple that I cannot resist. As I read, I am both in the scene with the characters and I am behind the camera with the director. Back and forth and back and forth, quick change, jump jump. It's almost dizzying. I love it!
But let's set the stage here. So it's late afternoon but not so late that I need to immediately start dinner. I have roughly 30 minutes that I can dedicate to just reading. I am in the family room curled up in the best corner of an L-shaped sectional sofa surrounded by comfy pillows. The day is gloomy (how better to set the stage for reading a book by Stephen King eh?) so I have one light on. It's a small light offering just barely enough thin illumination to read by. While the room is loaded with windows on three walls, there are blinds down because it has been so brightly sunny all day and it helps to keep the room cool. So I cannot see out adding to the coziness of the space.
The house is very quiet. Tim is working away in his office in the farthest corner of the house from where I am and the only sounds are the mechanicals which provide only background white noise at best. Within one page, I am fully immersed in the story and the back of my brain realizes that I should probably have set a timer because there is no way that I am going to be aware when thirty minutes have passed.
In the story, one helluva winter storm in cranking up. Unbeknowst to me, there is a big time tropical storm heading here as well.
Here in Venice, the sky is getting darker by the minute. The clouds are deep grey, almost black. At the same time, it's also getting darker and darker in the book as the "Storm of the century" gathers steam.
The story takes place in Maine in deep winter which is numbing cold but even so it's growing colder by the minute. Because of the coming storm, the house is getting cooler here too. While I'm sure Tim is very comfortable, the constant AC and the overhead fans churning that AC directly onto me causes me to pull up the little fuzzy blanket I keep on the sofa for just that reason.
Tension grows in the story as it climbs. I'm curled into a ball now and nibbling on my right thumbnail as the pages fly by.
Just as the very first truly horrible thing happens in the book, a big old thunderboomer cracks directly overhead and the sky lights up with multiple lightening flashes. I almost screamed. My heart is pounding as a close the book and set it aside for a moment, collect myself and look at the clock. It's past time to start dinner but instead I go into Tim's office for a minute. It's brightly lit, all the computer monitors have activity on it. Tim is sitting in his big leather chair wearing headphones and has no idea that I'm standing in the doorway and that's okay. I just needed to reach out and touch reality again for a minute. After a couple of deep breaths, I'm fine and the rest of the day continues as it should although dinner was a wee bit later than usual.
We have had crashing rain storms every afternoon this week, complete with hammering rain, temporary yard lakes and rivers, window rattling thunder and crazy lightening strikes. it took me three afternoons of that environment to finish a book I would normally cruise through in one sitting.
It was awesome!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.