Sunday, March 28, 2010

Making Our Own Fun

I have a friend who hangs out at the Geek Bar and complains that there's nothing to do in town. He was recently fired, and is looking for a job in larger cities, like Denver. I say go for it. Everyone should decide for themselves the size of the place they want to live in, and you don't know what you'll like until you live there for a while.

But I laugh at him when he says he's bored. It's a lot better to be creative and self-entertaining rather than waiting for the world to come to you. As Harvey Danger said in “Flagpole Sitta,” "If you're bored then you're boring." I find there's too much entertainment out there, and I don't have enough time to get to everything I want.

This morning, for example, the local fire department burned a house down. The local paper announced it, so we went out and sat in our car at 6:30 in the morning to watch.

I've never seen a house burn down before. Not live, not from beginning to end. It's surprisingly slow, with a lot of billowing smoke. And then there's fire licking out of the roof, a whole lot more smoke, and suddenly the whole thing is going like a bonfire.

These photos are presented in order, but there isn't any set time between them. I just snapped pictures when things seemed to be interesting.

About fifteen minutes after we saw the first puffs of smoke.

Maybe twenty minutes into the process. You can already see how parts of the external roof are charring.

Twenty-five minutes in, we get the first visible fire on the roof. They'd taken the tar shingles off the roof earlier, which probably kept this from getting messy.

Not much later. You can see smoke damage and burn to the left of the leftmost window.

The house is pretty much unsavable at this point.

The particle board that covered the left window is gone, and you can see it's an oven in there. You can also see the rafters in the roof. Watch the difference between roof between this and the next picture.

The ridge of the roof is sagging badly, and the place is coming down pretty soon. I wouldn't want to be the firefighter that walks into that.

The roof has collapsed. When you see a fire on a TV show or a movie, it pretty much is at this stage. It doesn't last very long without a lot of accelerant.

I've never watched a house burn down, and hope I never do unless it's another controlled demolition.

It'll go into a story some day.


Roland D. Yeomans said...

I watched a home burned. Mine. There is nothing like being awakened by your cat scratching you for the first time in her life to look up at a rolling carpet of flame boiling across the ceiling right above you.

Like you, I am a writer in search of getting published. I'm glad you have been published. Me? Not so lucky. But I have four agents looking at my complete manuscript.

Come check out my site, WRITING IN THE CROSSHAIRS {we writers have to focus in our subjects with crystal clarity, don't we?}

You have an impressive blog. Congrats. Roland

The Beast said...

Wow, that was pretty awesome. And definitely a small town kind of thing to do.

But hey, what better way to deal with your lead paint issues?

John Goodrich said...

Roland: That must have been terrifying! Congratulations on getting out.

Good luck with getting published. I've started with short stories, and am still looking for a place for my novels. Keep hammering away at it, and the market will crack.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

It was unique and that was for sure.

You're wise to start with short stories. It hones your craft at pacing and character development. And it always helps in pitching a novel if you can site story sales.

If you have the time in your schedule, please come check out my own blog {WRITING IN THE CROSSHAIRS.} To save you the irksome double duty of going to my profile, then to my blog, here is a link if you wish to use it :

Have a great week, Roland