Tackling the Impossible

The ‘back road’ we travel for the twenty minute trip to and from our son’s home takes us along a winding rural route through forest lands, past two lakes and over an hydroelectric dam. We’ve watched with mild interest as BC Hydro has logged and created a right-of-way that cuts across the landscape for a new 500 kilovolt transmission line being built over mountains and through the wilderness between Merritt and a substation in Coquitlam, BC.

Late last week we drove over the dam while keeping an eye on one of the helicopters that is helping in the stringing of the transmission wires along the new towers. It was an impressive sight with one helicopter hovering so low above us, and linesmen working so high! (That’s one person on a platform by the top wires. They don’t always stay on those platforms. At times we’ve seen people scrambling around on the metal braces of the towers.)


Global TV News did a brief update on the project recently, and it includes a video showing one of the other helicopters that we’ve seen, that one a massive construction helicopter maneuvering the top section of a tower into place. All four of its corners had to meet with something like one-half inch precision! It’s mind boggling.

I wonder if, in the initial stages, designers and construction crews are ever overwhelmed by the impossible magnitude of such a project. Or do you think they have a mental overview of the entire thing, and an understanding of how to break the undertaking into manageable pieces?

Do you think maybe that’s the approach authors are meant to take when beginning a new novel? I don’t know if it would work for me. I like a seat-of-the-pants method but that’s only because I know I can do extensive revisions later. There’s no doing over of 100 metre high transmission towers and a 500 kilovolt power line. I’m afraid, if I had to get it right the first time, I’d never make it through to the end of the first draft. How about you?

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7 thoughts on “Tackling the Impossible

  1. Darlene says:

    I agree, the thought that I can always revise a few times, keeps me going. Perhaps that is why I am not an engineer. I am a true seat of the panster!

    • Carol says:

      My father always hoped I’d become an architectural engineer (he was a masonry contractor). In hindsight it’s clear why that never appealed to me!

  2. elderfox says:

    A “First Timer Finisher” I am certainly NOT! Well, certainly not when it comes to finishing a novel and/or my blog. And while I am somewhat of a “I’ll get to it” I’m going to blame a slew of Facebook reads, Mail I can’t seem to get caught up with. The house work–why did they have to use that word “work”? Anyway, it’s not so much “impossible” as it is I just don’t have the time (can I get away with that???). I’m not worried about getting the 1st draft done, it just the T I M E it takes (????) “OH” Gotta run, the coffee mug is empty.

    • Carol says:

      There’s always something to distract us from the task at hand, isn’t there? LOL! I don’t think it matters much *how* we get something done, as long as it gets done, and for that to happen, we have to want it badly enough. All too often coffee wins out around here, too. 🙂

  3. Shari Green says:

    Thank goodness we don’t have to get it right in the first draft! Or the second, or third… 😉

  4. I’m glad I’m a writer and not a hydro mechanic. I can do years and years of revisions and never hold back progress.

  5. I don’t think I’d like being involved with that project! As a SPOTP writer, I break my novels down by word count. A 90,000-word book is split into 9 sections. I celebrate every time I finish one. If I look too far ahead, it’s overwhelming. 🙂

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