I have to admit that men fascinate me. Well, their psychology does. They are strange and unique creatures. They say one word to every five a women speaks . . . they can watch sports all day, even sports they’re not all that interested in. They can wear a t-shirt until it’s threadbare simply because it’s their favorite. And they love sheds. And garages. I’ve recently noticed the strange phenomenon in Australia called The Men’s Shed. These are places where men get together and do men’s stuff 🙂 Although I’m not quite sure what that is, I’d guess it has something to do with making things and using power tools. Perhaps it’s the bonding with other men, or the creating things with their hands in a world where we’ve become accustomed to buying eveything we need from the relevant retailers or the new wave of internet shopping.
My own DH has every conceivable power tool, and still browses through hardware stores for that one illusive piece of equipment he’s yet to own. He also has a project. Other wise know as a Holden UC Torana hatchback. Also known as the Mistress. Which is in several pieces and might one day get on the road! This is it, on the right. Looking very yellow! And surounded by an obstacle course of stuff and thingymayjigs and doohickie’s that I inevitably trip over every time I dare venture into this sacred and inner sanctum.
When I thought about writing this blog it occurred to me how often I use a man’s love for his shed when I’m creating male characters. If the hero isn’t a shed man, I usually have secondary male character, perhaps a father or brother or best friend, who tinkers in his garage, often putting together 67′ Camaro or a 65′ Mustang fastback with red pony trim. Or he’s building a dog house for the heroine who lives next door. My hero in Made For Marriage is a boat builder and certainly knows his way around a workshop. I like creating heroes who can fix things. Even a CEO would probably have to know how to change a lightbulb, repair a leaking faucet or put together a piece of Ikea furniture. Unless of course the heroine is the one with the overalls and tool belt . . . which is an interesting idea and one I might have to consider later when the current work in progress is done and dusted :).
I do admire wives/girlfriends/partners who stand by and patiently watch as the sheds fill up with an assortment of must have tools and equipment and aboveforementioned doohickie’s. Until the problem arises that the shed/garage is no longer large enough to hold all the contraband. Of course, fellow author Jane Beckanham came up with a great a solution . . . build a bigger shed!
Do you like reading books with a hero who understands the workings of a V8 engine, or can fix a fence and then chop down a tree with a power saw? My guess is this guy feels at home in his garage.
But whatever hero you prefer – the carpenter, the cop, the cowboy or the CEO, each has his place in the books we love to read or write.