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  • Writer's pictureEthan Hunt

Chapter 13: Going to the Movies

*Spoiler alert for Chapter 13: Going to the Movies

OK, fine.

Well...I am going to give in and add a song this week. This chapter begins with Dustin continuing to think about how difficult it is for him to talk to his wife; especially about something so important as Damon going missing. This is a very important aspect of the story.

A great song by Matchbox Twenty fits here, I think, and I've always thought the opening lyrics to the song hit pretty hard for anyone who's had trouble getting through to their partner in a relationship.


It's amazing

How you make your face just like a wall

How you take your heart and turn it off

How I turn my head and lose it all

- Matchbox Twenty, Leave


This is the challenge with loved ones with anxiety. Their fears become your fears, because their reaction to their fears is going to disrupt your life and your plans. To support them, you have to listen, and not try to fix them, even when they seem irrational. Unfortunately for Dustin, its evolved into keeping things, his thoughts and feelings, from Holly.

Dustin isn't a sophisticated guy. He is a thinker, but with limited means for understanding these complicated issues. Remember too: it is the mid-nineties. It wasn't so easy to just go search on the internet to quickly learn about something. Really, all he knows is what Holly relays to him from her doctor.

Mirror, mirror

I again use a reflection of a previous passage in the book to open this chapter. Previously, Damon wakes up in the junkyard with Hope next to him. This time, it is Dustin waking up. Compare the beginning of Chapter 12 'At the Movies' to the beginning of this one, and you'll see the similarities.

It’s late, Dustin thinks.
He pulls the blanket over his shoulder and rolls from his back onto his right side to curl up a bit more. As he drifts off to sleep again, he feels something wet on his face. He awkwardly wipes at it with his left hand and then tucks the hand back under the blankets to keep it warm. Again, he feels something wet rubbing up against his face.

I like this sort of thing. Again, I like to find ways to make readers feel like there is a rhythm in what they are reading; a sense of comfort and familiarity. Anyway, let me know in the comments or on Twitter if you noticed any of this on your own!

Easter Egg

I doubt anyone out there is a big enough fan of Semisonic or the song Gone to the Movies to pick up on this, but this chapter is where at least one Easter egg from the song is placed.


Any other fool would be out on the roadway

Trying to spot her rusted Pontiac

- Semisonic, Gone to the Movies


When Dustin gets to the junkyard, he notices the Pontiac emblem on Hope's little home of a car. Story inspiration comes from all over the place. 😊

Favorite quotes

I am realizing as I promote my book that it's fun to pull my favorite lines from the story and share those with people on social media. I tend to gravitate to lines that tug the heart strings or quickly immerse the reader in that part of the story.

He looks away from Damon, trying to hide his emotion, and wipes at his face with his left hand. Damon notices his dad fidgeting.
“You okay Dad?”
“Yeah, buddy. I just miss your mom,” he says, trying not to break down.
“It’s okay to cry, Dad,” Damon says as he stares at Dustin’s face.
Dustin laughs a small laugh. As he wraps his left arm around Damon to hug him, he says, “I know, buddy. I know.”

I can remember my dad crying a few times growing up. At least two of them were when we lost pets. Once was when papa (my mom's dad) died. We didn't talk about it afterward, but just seeing him cry was a profound moment for me as a child. When I've struggled emotionally in front of my son, I try to talk to him about it. I think one of the best gifts we can give our kids is the tools necessary to process their feelings. When did I cry in front of my son? When we watched E.T.! LOL. And, of course, when we lost our pets.

I hope he remembers those times when I was vulnerable, and knows how to help someone else who's vulnerable as he grows up.

Until next time, see you at the movies.

Soundtrack (thus far):

Follow as we build the soundtrack on Spotify!


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