Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Longest day of the year

So Summer Solstice hits officially at 8:26 a.m. EDT on June 21. So that makes either today or tomorrow the longest day/shortest night of the year in these parts. To give you an idea of what that means in Iqaluit, the sun rose at 2:11 a.m. today and sets at 11 p.m. Tomorrow might actually be the longest day of the year, but if it is, it's by seconds.

So what's it like when the sun goes down? You can't really tell the difference. It's like being outside around 8 p.m. in St. John's at this time of the year. I was going to go out and get a photograph around midnight tonight to give you and idea, but it's cloudy with drizzle today. Actually, it's going to be this way for the rest of the week. The weather is rather sucky. It's like spring in Newfoundland. Still, the amount of daylight isn't going to radically change in the next week or so. I'll try and get a photo when the weather clears.

Occasionally, and I guess this is partly due to the daylight, you start coming up with weird story ideas around the strange tricks of daylight. You can tell interesting stories - Insomnia is one about too much daylight. 30 Days of Night is a brilliant idea about vampires attacking a community in Alaska above the arctic circle, where it's dark for 30 days a year.

It was only the other day, when it was about as close to dark as it gets and when I saw a thin, translucent slice of moon in the sky that I thought, in typical geek fashion, "I wonder what happens to werewolves in the arctic during the summer? If you can't see the moon, or it isn't fully visible, what would happen?"

Which might sound like an interesting idea to explore until I thought of how it would end. Eventually, the poor bastard would turn into a werewolf, be promptly shot by an Inuit hunter, who would sell the pelt to someone down south to turn into a coat ("Genuine Werewolf!"...I wonder, would Heather McCartney get upset? And furthermore, how much would I pay to see her try to cuddle one?) and sell the bones to an artisan, who would promptly turn it into a carving that someone will try and sell to me at the Frobe on a Friday night. Best not to think about what would happen to the meat.

So yeah, maybe a short story.

Part of my problem in trying to write stories is I too often dip into genres that I'm familiar with, but have been done to death. I thought I had an idea for a vampire story a few months ago until I had the horrific realization that I was putting together a kind of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic except the story was being told by a townie version of Angel who runs into a baychick version of Buffy.

I think I sobbed when I realized.

It also made me appreciate this story idea all the more. A book editor snaps after reading one too many bad vampire manuscripts and becomes a serial killer who only hunts vampire authors. Now that's a clever idea. I got the feeling if my story had made it to her, I would have probably made her list.

Hmmmm, funny the places you can end up when talking about the lack of night....I wonder if there is a correlation?


John said...

The Arctic Werewolf-skin coat would of course be cursed, causing the wearer to turn into a werewolf and head north. There's potential here for a Wolverine tie-in.......

Tina Chaulk said...

I love the title of that story: Done to Death. Sounds like John has a great spin there for you. You know what they say, it's all been done before. You just have to find a new twist and an artic werewolf sounds damned interesting.

towniebastard said...

I'm just imaging a cursed werewolf fur coat that some fashionista in New York is wearing when someone from PETA throws red paint on it causes the coat's wearer to snap and become a werewolf...one that only hunts animal rights activists and perhaps the wives of famous musicians.

Hmmm....this might require some research...thanks John!

John said...

No problem. Just credit me in the acknowledgments somewhere.