Thursday, October 04, 2007

Honey, I Shrunk Myself


Girl Peeling Potatoes,
Evert Pieters ( 1856-1932),
oil on canvas.

I wonder if the girl in the painting is trying for one continuous curl...

In one of L.M.Montgomery's stories, Emily ( of New Moon) could do optical tricks with wallpaper.

As a child, in bed because of mumps, measles or whatever other current virus I had enthusiastically embraced, I played eye-games with the floral patterns of the wallpaper in my bedroom. Hiding among the petals, running along the maze of patterns and spirals and vines, leaping from bouquet to bouquet.

Another amusement was imagining my bedroom - or any room - upside down. I found the spacial alteration of door and window casings particularly fascinating.

T'other day, Charles proposed a Lilliputian exercise.

Visual games of perspective are particularly useful, not only if one is writing about dwarves and Little People, but also if one proposes to insert any character whose size or position - whether temporary or permanent - falls outside average parameters.

Short people, like children, have a different view of physical things than those of average height.

Once at a scenic lookout, a father became impatient and irritated because a child did not appreciate the vista - until the child commented, quite reasonably, that it appeared to be a very nice guard rail.

Really tall people too, people in wheelchairs, prone people - all view the world from different perspectives and lines of sight.

We need to remember the POV, not only of their minds, but also of their eyes.

Groaner Q& A:
Q: What is the difference between a Harley and a Hoover?
A: The location of the dirt bag.

Another one that plays on a popular prejudice - not everyone who happens to appreciate motorcycles is automatically a member of les Hells.
BTW, like NASCAR, a niche for biker fiction may be emerging.


32 comments:

SzélsőFa said...

A very nice guard rail - that gave me some good and hearty laugh. Thanks.

(Also, I needed this reminder about the perspective of the POV.)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Szelsofa.

Children are experts on knees, belt buckles and backsides.

Jaye Wells said...

Excellent reminders. Biker fiction= Helmet Lit?

Bernita said...

More like Leather Lit, I suspect, Jaye!

StarvingWriteNow said...

Biker fiction. Pushing aside all the "they can read?" jokes, it would certainly be interesting to see what developed there.

Happy Thursday!

Bernita said...

Indeed, Starving.
I've always thought of bikes as being closer to horses than cars.

Robyn said...

Hee! I love the commercial where the truckstop waitress runs out to the Tough Biker Dude and begs to go with him. He growls, "I ride alone." Then pointing to the 8,000 people behind him, he says, "Except for my cellphone network. I like to check my email, and look at GPS if I get lost."

As someone of, ahem, limited stature myself, I can appreciate the guard rail. There are so many times I'll think what do you tall people do for frustration?

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I wonder if the niche includes dirt bikes. The producer of my latest screenplay requested dirt bike chase scenes.

I'm five feet tall, though people invariably think I'm taller. But the impression of height doesn't help me reach the top shelf any easier.

Bernita said...

Robyn, I imagine that intimate encounters with the top of dook casings and hanging lamps may partly provide it.

Bernita said...

I think dirt bikes would be included, SS.Possibly ATV's too.
I have a daughter who's also a "pocket venus" - has its advantages as well as disadvantages.

moonrat said...

another really good post...

this makes me think of flatland.

recently, the old man perspective seems to be the popular challenge (HISTORY OF LOVE, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS) (ok, i can only think of two, but. that's probably because i don't read enough).

Charles Gramlich said...

A very good point, one that I have become much more aware of through Lana, who is quite lovely but on the shorter side.

Loved the joke, btw. Of course, I always rode Hondas.

Demon Hunter said...

Great post, Bernita!! I needed a reminder as Szelsofa did as well, concerning POV.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Moonrat.
The old person perspective - both physical and mental - forms part of Christie's "Elephants Can Remember."

Hee, Charles! Zen what!

Recently read about a Dwarf racing up a set of tower stairs just as fast as the long-legged heroine.

Bernita said...

Thank you, my Demon.
One can always crawl around on one's knees for a while to get the proper physical perspective.

spyscribbler said...

I'm like that father, I constantly forget! Good reminder!

Scott from Oregon said...

You would be totally surprised to find out how many good home keepers have dirty refrigerator tops...

My sister lives opposite a freewy onramp and she has come to despise Harley's and their dirtbags...

Seeley deBorn said...

From close enough to the ground a patch of moss can become a forest.

When we lived in the woods, The Boy would find me the most amazing specimines for my amateur mycology pursuits.

And biker fiction is alive and well. My friend Adelle Laudanis living proof of that.

Rob said...

Great post. I too remember lying in bed as a child, imagining my room upside down.

I also remember staring at a lot of guard rails. Loved that.

Bernita said...

On your knees from the front door to the kitchen , Natasha, as a penance.

No, Scott, I wouldn't. They go past my house all the time.
~roar, roar~

I always liked the ones like little lanterns, Seeley.

Thank you, Rob.
Yor're the first I ever "met" who did that too!

Lapa said...

TOP PORTUGUESE UNIVERSAL WRITER: CRISTOVAO DE AGUIAR.

He has, also, translated into Portuguese the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.

He has been awarded several prizes.

Don't forget the name of this great author, you'll be hearing of him soon.

Thank you for spending time in Universal Culture.

Thanks for visiting.

M.E Ellis said...

I like that picture. Smallest always asks that I peel an apple "Without letting it drop off."

:o)

December/Stacia said...

When I was a kid I used to walk around staring into a mirror held flat at waist level, pretending I was walking on the ceiling. Made the whole house look different.


And I'm always amazed by how different the world looks when the hubs picks me up so my head is at his level (he's a foot taller than me.)

Bernita said...

Do other people get these?

It's an important skill, Michelle, making that spiral.

Gives us new eyes, December.

James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

Well, being a biker (leather clad and all) :D, I'm glad to see the emerging niche for biker fiction. It warms the soul clear down to my chaps...

I know what you mean about popular prejudice. If I get off work and walk into a store wearing my slacks and sport jacket, I get friendly smiles and pleasant conversation. When I'm out for a ride and stop to pick up a few things, then I either get sales people who won't make eye-contact with me or ones who follow me through the store at a safe distance to make sure I'm not stealing anything.

Ah, but such is the price for loving the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. :D

writtenwyrdd said...

That joke was hilarious! And you are right, not all bikers are the epitome of dirtball. But don't you believe that those HA's are nice fellows, either. They and their feeder gangs are making a big mess in your wonderful country, Bernita.

I didn't play visual games (unless you count pushing on my eyeballs to see sparks); but I did spend a lot of time OCD-counting lines and edges and corners when I couldn't sleep.

Funny about your post today. I was working with a guy who is 6'6" to my much shorter self. He can literally reach out the passenger window of his sedan without leaning. I was playing with that realization and the size concept all day.

M.E Ellis said...

Written, now I'm visualising it!

LOL

:o)

Bernita said...

Funny how some people have a fit at the sight of a motorcycle, James.

Written,I really am capable of making a clear distinction between criminal biker gangs ( Hells, Para-Dice Riders,Satan's Choice,the Outlaws, Bandidos, Vagabonds, etc.,etc.,etc.) and ordinary people who happen to like to ride motorcycles.

Vesper said...

How right you are, Bernita. Quite often, when I speak to my daughters, who are seven and four years old respectively, I crouch down to be at their eye level, and that reminds me every time of a child's perspective. The world is so different from their height...

Bernita said...

Certainly is, Vesper.
We shouldn't forget what it's like to walk under tables.

writtenwyrdd said...

Sorry, Bernita. That did sound rather holier-than-thou preachy, didn't it? It's just that you wouldn't believe the naive folks I run into where I live. The white wash job some of the bad biker gangs have undergone has confused many people. The vast majority of people who own bikes and wear leather are as you said, good folks out to have fun on their bikes.

Bernita said...

No problem, Written - just didn't want you to think I was one of them.