Tag Archives: Iowa

The Weather is not making any friends…

11 Aug

We have had some pretty unbelievable weather here in Cedar Rapids over the last few days (again I know!)

The temperatures all week have been at or around 90 degrees. And that’s just the temperature…the heat index adds even a few more degrees, making being or playing outside not so fun. But the real culprit here is the humidity. It is so humid you can actually see it! The humidity is thick and uncomfortable and covers you like another layer of skin as soon as you step outside. 

And every night has produced a major thunderstorm with lots of rain. I’m talking thunder so loud it shakes the whole house (but amazingly enough does not wake up my kids or dog…at least I can be thankful for that!) and lightning so bright it seems for brief seconds like you are in a florescent lighted daytime. Last night it was in fact raining sideways the wind was blowing so hard.  The rain traveled in waves across my backyard. 

This of course has led to flash flooding all across Iowa. As I am typing there is flooding bad enough to shut down major interstates in the Ames, Iowa area. Yikes! I am having flashbacks of Cedar Rapids in the summer of 2008. 

The weather it seems is relentless. 

All of this got me thinking about weather as the villain in “Evelyn’s Drawings Can’t Swim” again. Weather is a powerful force and so many people are not only affected by it but also check its status constantly on the news, The Weather Channel, online or on their phone. I am guessing that right now—or anytime in the last two years for that matter—if you live in Iowa you wouldn’t “Like” the weather on Facebook or any other social networking site. 

You see each day it is becoming easier to write about the villainous weather that takes the form of a flood in my story. 

Just don’t blame me for all this rain!

I love Mother Nature…

9 Jun

…but everybody has to be the bad guy sometime right?

Part of “Evelyn’s Drawings Can’t Swim” was inspired by the catastrophic flood that hit Cedar Rapids, Iowa  in June of 2008. Mother Nature was the perfect bad guy then. Sometimes it can be hard to describe the flood as thoughts of it can be overwhelming. Where do I start? There are many images floating around in my mind about those days and weeks in the summer of 2008.

Naturally (no pun intended) as I began constructing the story, the flood became the villain again. It threatens, among other things, something that Noah has grown to love. And with the help of his friend Mrs. G—the children’s librarian and Noah’s neighbor—he musters the strength to do something about it. I imagine him raising his twelve-year-old fists in the face of the flood and shaking them. 

And as I am typing I am realizing just how strangely ironic it is that I am blogging about this element of the book today. It was just two years ago this very week that we in Cedar Rapids were all preparing for and dealing with the flood. So too, Noah is getting ready to face the flood. 

I will honestly admit that I know it will not be an easy task to recreate the flood as my villain—despite how much I dislike the waters that wrecked havoc on my city. But I hope that through my story, and the characters I create—protagonist and antagonist alike—I am able to show that there is hope and goodness that can come from such a challenge, such a disaster. 

So in the meantime, holler if you know of a good book that has a natural disaster or Mother Nature as the antagonist of the story. 

It’s not that I don’t love the great outdoors. I’ve just learned it can also be not so great sometimes.