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  • Writer's pictureEthan Hunt

Chapter 7: Not Today

*Spoiler alert for Chapter 7: Not Today

Tinker Part 2

After some setup, we dive right into Damon snooping around an old shed on the property. This time, he's looking for rope to make a leash for Hope. Again, Damon is immediately drawn to the shack full of tools and junk. One inspiration for this was my great grandparents' farm sheds in Gilroy, CA when I was growing up.

I can still smell the dust, rust, and oil from the garden outside, the tools in the shed, and the dirt under my feet. I can see the specks of light peaking through the dilapidated barn wood. I tried to capture this for the reader in this part of the story.

A reviewer of my book recently wrote:

"Gone to the Movies is a journey through a simpler time. A time of bike rides and stray dogs and rope leashes and drive-in movie theaters."

This is definitely what I was going for with the story. People can take their experiences as a kid, and put themselves in Damon's shoes. They can take their experiences as an adult/parent, and put themselves in Dustin or Holly's shoes. Same thing for older people or widows with Dora.

In this case, the reviewer remembers sifting through their grandad's tools, or riding their bike around their childhood neighborhood, and they feel something. It is a great feeling of when life was less complicated. I love the sub-scene of Damon realizing the dog is no longer there next to him. He is just a boy lost in the new world he'd discovered inside this shed full of junk.

If this was a tape, I would have worn it out.

If I Run

This was one of my favorite chapters to write, because this is the first time that the reader gets a look inside Hope the dog's feelings. She feels a pull toward some place she thinks of as home, and while the reader can assume it is the drive-in, we don't really know where she wants to go.

This made me think of another Semisonic song, If I Run. The song is possibly my favorite from the Great Divide album, and although it is clearly about going on the road as a band, I think it fits nicely into the soundtrack here.


Well I know it'll be alright if I just get on the road,

If I run, I can free my worried mind,

Yeah I know on the day I die I will lose my heavy load,

But I wouldn't want to leave you behind.

- Semisonic, If I Run


Meanwhile, later in the chapter, I mirror Hope's feelings in Dustin as he tries to decide if it is the right time to reach out to his wife, Holly. A careful reader will notice both characters being drawn toward their version of home, but they just don't have it in them to head in that direction on this day.

I use a similar repetitive device in later chapters of the book...come back and drop a Comment here, or on Twitter/Facebook if you can spot it!

A boy and his dog

Hope essentially makes a decision in this chapter to give Damon a chance. Yes, she's injured and can't run, but she's also feeling the love of the boy, and this partly causes her to stay. This made me think of another Semisonic song named Follow.


Take me wherever you go,

Help me forget tomorrow,

Love me your best and I know,

All of the rest will follow,

Love me as well as you know,

And everything else will follow.

- Semisonic, Follow


A super-fun thing happened after I released the book. I was planning out this blog, and while looking into all of these bands, Semisonic posted a video on their Facebook page. It is Dan Wilson playing an acoustic version of Follow! Check it out.

It might be my favorite song on the album, and to have him drop an acoustic version out of nowhere was pretty cool.

Back to our previously scheduled programming last thought about what this story would be like as a movie. I didn't write this scene into the book, but I've always envisioned a music montage of Damon playing with the dog, giving it a bath, and learning how to care for it. You know...the classic borderline music video in the middle of the movie, showing how much fun and bonding the boy is experiencing with the dog.

This doesn't make sense in a book, but I'll definitely learn how to write something like this into the manuscript. In any case, a song by The Tories jumped to mind. It is named Happy. The lyrics don't really match anything particular happening in the story, but it's a fun upbeat song...and you get it as a bonus this week!

Enjoy, and see you next time at the movies.

Soundtrack (thus far):

Follow as we build the soundtrack on Spotify!


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