More dispatches from Upstate New York

Went for another walk this morning, and visited the delightful little library in my Mom’s small town that I’d somehow never visited before. She moved after I was in college, and they’re only open three days a week. Something about spending time inside any library that always makes me just a little bit happier. And they had a nice children’s section, too.

Since I’ve recently finished writing one book and am still digging into/returning to the other, I find myself in a sort of transition place between books–and thus am seeing the winter New York landscape through both the eyes of my old protagonist (L) and new protagonist (H). This leads to some interesting conversations.

L: Look at all these dead trees! We need to gather firewood. We need to go hunting. We need to get to work while the world is still safe and the trees can’t attack us! There’s no time to waste.
H: Umm, chill? It’s just winter.
L: People who don’t work starve. Don’t you get that?
H: I get that I’m cold. I’m going for a run to warm up.
Me: I’m pretty sure there’s a grocery store in town. We can stock up, L, okay?
H: Yeah, whatever, see you there. (Goes off for that run.)
L: She’d never have survived during the War.
Me: Good thing she doesn’t have to, then.
L: And why not? What makes her so special, anyway.

Stumbled upon Life After People on the History Channel (unlike me, my relations have cable) last night, an account of what would happen to the world if all the people disappeared. Much like The World Without Us, only less detail–but interesting stuff nonetheless. And the look at the 20-years abandoned zone near Chernobyl was pretty fascinating. They predict it would take a thousand years to get to the point where our cities have turned to giant tree-covered hill with no signs of said buildings. (I’ve sped this process up a bit for Bones of Faerie. 🙂 Even while keeping the largest roadways clear.)

Thought I had while watching this, though: is part of the appeal of post-apocalyptic fiction (and non-fiction) that on some level we fear the world won’t make it, and want reassurance that even if the worst happens, something will survive? Something to ponder, that.

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