Let's see, I saw Eragon, the movie based on Christopher Paolini's book. Loved it. Haven't read the book though, so I can't compare them.
Oh, and I caught my stove on fire Wednesday evening.
Seriously. I put the skillet on the stove, turned on the burner and turned back to the sink to wash the vegetables. I'm scrubbing away, when I notice orange lights flickering in the window over the sink. I look up and there's nothing outside. Then I hear a WHOOSH. I turned back to the stove in time to see 12 inch flames shooting out from under the skillet. I grabbed the pan, dumped it in the sink and turned the burner off. I tried to just blow it out, but, obviously, that didn't work. Thankfully, I kept my cool. (Mostly.) I grabbed the baking soda out of the cabinet overhead and doused it.
The smoke detector is now wailing in this high pitched, shrill screech and saying, "Alert! Alert! Fire! Fire!"
There's baking soda and smoke everywhere. I held it together, getting the house aired out and the alarm silenced. I even finished cooking dinner. An hour later however, my nerves were shot and my hands were shaking.
Thankfully nothing was damaged. No burns to the cabinets or anything. Just the drip tray was scorched beyond help. (I know this because I've scoured it three times and it still looks burnt. )
This isn't my first run in with fire. It all started when I was five. My older brother was playing with matches and caught the basement on fire. We got out safely, but it was pretty intense to me.
Then, when I was nine, Mom was driving me to school when her steering column caught fire. Lucky for us the RV behind us had a fire extinguisher in the back. He put out the fire and drove us to a nearby friends. Best part of that was missing a day of school and having an adventure to tell the next day.
During my middle school years, Mom ran her own health food store and I came home to an empty house. I started dinner a lot of nights. During prep one night, oil from my skillet sloshed over the side and caught fire on the burner. I moved the pan but then freaked. I tried dialing 911, but every time I'd hit the last number I'd click the disconnect on the phone. NO idea why. I tried three times, but by then, the fire had burned itself out on the burner and there was no damage to the stove. So I finished dinner.
A few years back, when I still lived at home and we still had the kids full time, I caught myself on fire. But that one really wasn't my fault. Dad had left the gas burner on low to keep his coffee pot warm. He moved the pot, but forgot to turn off the burner. I came in to fix the kids breakfast, reached across the stove for the toaster and caught the sleeve of my terry cloth robe on fire.
I've never seen fire spread that fast. I felt like Andre the Giant in Princess Bride when he has to where the monk's robe and set fire to himself to create a diversion for Wesley. Anyway, it raced up the sleeve, across my shoulders and down my back. I tried the get the robe off, but I had tied the belt in a knot and in my frantic tugging had tightened it. Mom was beating at the flames with her bare hands. Dad pulled out his handy dandy pocket knife (Thank you God for a Mr. Gadget father that carries 10 pounds of survival gear in his pockets at all times.) and began cutting at the belt. Aaron is standing at the sink with the sprayer trying to spray me. Dad got the belt cut and we got the fire out. Thankfully, no one was burned and I had my hair up so I didn't get more than a few singed tips.
More thankfully, I was wearing something under the robe!
I've also seen two computers near by me burst into flame. Grant it they were older than Methuselah and deserved to go out in a blaze of glory. Plus, let me make it clear that these weren't MY computers, nor was I using them at the time.
However, now that I reflect on my fiery past, I'm beginning to wonder if maybe Stephen King was on to something. Maybe I have undiscovered wells of telepathic ability that bubble forth when I least expect it.
Maybe Carrie and I have something in common after all.
Hmm. They do say you should write what you know. Is it any wonder my first suspense novel revolves around a serial arsonist? I wonder how this list would look on my Writer's Resume. I could list it under Research and Experience.
"So, Ms. Erwin, are you qualified to get into the head of an arsonist? Can you really show the reader what fire is?"
"Well, Mr. Super Dream Agent, I think I've had a little experience. Does being a human torch count?"
"Absolutely! Sign here!"