Sunday, 29 April 2018

Tom Merriweather's van

Tom's Van Object Post 1

Tom Merriweather, when we first meet him in the mid 1980s, is twenty-one years old, attending university part time while working in a junior position at Merriweather and Associates, his father's architectural/building firm. He drives a van that possibly needs a new muffler and which definitely has problems with its front passenger door which Tom keeps closed with a twist of wire. It's not new; probably an early 1970s model, a manual with an inconvenient gear lever and a fair bit of clutter.

Mish Verhoven, Tom's girlfriend for the first three months of 1985, likes the van, though she does want Tom to fix the door. She claimed some territory there by leaving a book and a cassette tape in the front; something that disconcerted Tom when they broke up as they reminded him of Mish and he had to think of a way to get them back to her. 

Tom does get the door fixed, but Mish is able to pick the lock and does so with aplomb on the day of their break-up. She wasn't trying to steal anything, just proving a point. 

Later, Tom finds the van useful when he takes it over Bass Strait on the ferry. It gives him transport on the mainland and also an emergency sleeping place if he needs it. He uses it a year later to collect his fairy girl Ryl from the airport, and, as she's travelled in it before, she's able to conjure her luggage into it directly. Later still, Tom drives it to deliver tulips for his uncle and aunt. He and Ryl have a minor confrontation about their situation, and Tom, not trusting himself to drive at that point, pulls over. 

The van weathers the early days of Tom's and Ryl's couple-hood, and they find it useful when their children arrive. By this time, the van is thirty years old, so why is it still running? Well, Tom and Ryl have a secret weapon in Ryl's cousin Peck Grene, a fix-it pixie with a close and occasionally disturbing relationship with vehicles.  Peck works for Ike's Motor Services, but he keeps Tom's van running as a labour of love; he just can't bear to see a vehicle being badly managed. It is running still in 2018, but Tom finally put it out to pasture a few months ago. It was in such good order he could have sold it to a collector, but instead he gave it to Peck, who polishes it lovingly every so often. No one is quite sure what Peck plans to do with it. Tom's youngest son Timbre suggests, half-seriously, that his big cousin may be plotting to modify the van so it can be driven over there. This is technically impossible, but if anyone can do it, Peck can. 

I never described the van (which appears in The Kissing Ring), but I know it's white and I suspect it's a VW.   


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. She runs  Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)
The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. 2017 is now behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of February 18th 2018 I STILL haven't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books to come, and I'll certainly showcase those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, just for a change. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far! Since April 22nd I'm adding in places!

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