MIKE…THIS IS YOUR CHARACTER SPEAKING….

“Knowledge comes from books…wisdom comes from life.” Evan Morris.

The above is an example of one of those things my lead character says that prompt me to wonder where they came from. Yes I put the words in his mouth but it isn’t something I’ve ever said or even thought about (although I might have heard or read it somewhere before).

It is pretty much accepted that we influence our characters totally but every so often something like the above happens and I begin to think our characters (in my case Evan Morris) has more of an influence on me that I care to admit. Perhaps Evan is that old guy I wish I could be. It’s like Leonard Nimoy’s book “I Am Not Spock”. Years later he would write “I Am Spock” and really, both statements are true. If I’m in a situation that requires my input I sometimes find myself wondering how Evan would handle it (I usually go with what he would do because it always makes more sense).

On a seemingly different yet related topic I had to say goodbye to an old friend last week…my garden hose. Oh sure it’s just a hose but I’ve had it since we moved into our first house in 1975. Over the years it’s shrunk from the original 100 foot length to somewhere around 90 feet due to repairs and age but it has served me well. It was one of the solid rubber types and any leaks that appeared could be easily remedied with a simple patch kit. But time took its toll and the rubber eventually dried and cracked. Repairing one or two leaks would put more pressure on the rest of it and new leaks kept popping up. So I reluctantly spent a lot of money and bought a heavy duty hose that hopefully will last me the rest of my life.

From the sequel to White Wolf Moon (Jennifer is discussing Evan’s frugal ways with his wife Marie):

“But Marie, I watched him spend an afternoon fixing up an old garden hoe. He was pretty proud of the fact that it was nearly as old as he was.”

“And the rake, shovel, wheelbarrow, garden hose…he’d rather repair the old than buy new.”

“Spend a little time, save a little money?”

“As I said, it’s not about the money. The next time you see him ask him why he does it then prepare yourself for a speech on landfill, environment, disposable societies and the like. He’s pretty firm on maintaining what you have rather than tossing it in the trash.”

“And the hippie gene rises once again.” Jenn giggled. “I think I’ll pass on that lecture.”

Okay, so maybe I am Evan. On the other hand before I was influenced by what Marie said I would never have considered giving a lecture on landfill etc. preferring to let my actions do the talking. Today I will lecture, and have. Regardless of all the press regarding this new ‘environmentally aware’ society we have created we still live in a disposable world where thousands of perfectly good year-old-cell phones are replaced almost daily because, well, they’re outdated. But then again nobody repairs them anyway so why not replace them before they need fixing. Nobody repairs anything anymore. It costs you more to maintain an old something than it does to buy a new something so cars, televisions, furniture, and pretty much anything else just gets tossed no matter how ‘aware’ we claim to be. It’s the same with relationships. If it ever becomes work then toss it. I’ve been married for forty-three years and while I don’t recall any actual maintenance needed I’m sure there has been some.

Okay, I drifted a little and I’m sorry but maybe that’s the way my characters create their own dialogue. Obviously I know it’s just me rambling on through Evan’s voice but perhaps within these rants ‘n ramblings a few unthought thoughts of my own float to the surface. He vocalizes what I usually just think. In this way Evan becomes my stage…my release…my therapy. Someone once suggested that I am like a ventriloquist and Evan is my Charlie McCarthy. I have to disagree. First, you can always see my lips move and second…Evan is no dummy.

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