Personal experiences are a writer’s meat and potatoes. They breathe Life into our manuscripts and nail the reader to the scene. Sometimes the weirder the event the better, and Heaven knows, I’ve found myself in some peculiar circumstances.
Or, as my daughter says, shaking her head, “These things only happen to you, Mom.”
Consider these two gems from my very odd world:
The flocking on my small Christmas tree had turned dingy blah. I wanted to remove the material that once looked like snow but keep the tree. So, I did what anyone else would do; took it outside and started beating it on the sidewalk to dislodge the gross fibers. Enter stage left, the mailman who is staring at me, his mouth open wide enough to drive a truck through.
Question: Do you explain why you are beating up on an innocent tree or pretend you saw a spider?
An old doll cradle I was refinishing had lost several inch-size wooden balls on the headboard. Since I wanted to replace them, I went to the local lumberyard, walked up to the male clerk, and asked, “Do you have balls about this size?” making a circle with my thumb and finger.
He looked at me. I stared back. Without speaking, I turned and left the store.
Only you, Mom.
How to know you’re a writer?
- When the hubby smashes his finger with a ten-pound hammer and you wonder how to use the screaming in a scene.
- Human behavior in a mall is prime fodder for your wip.
- People are suspicious when you stare at them in a mall.
Remember, a highly observant nature is essential to creativity. At least until your staring turns creepy, someone calls the cops, and the restraining order takes effect.
I leave you with a joke only a writer can appreciate:
A writer and her husband walked into a dentist's office.
"Doc,” the lady said. “I'm in one heck of a hurry. The storyline for my novel exploded in my head this morning, the characters and battle scene came together, and my mind is buzzing with the protag’s newest conflicts. While the muse lives, I must write. So, forget about the anesthetic, I don't have time for the gums to get numb. I just want you to pull the tooth, and be done with it so I can return to my keyboard.”
My goodness, the dentist thought. What a very brave woman she is. Above all else, writing must be her life.
"Which tooth is it ma’am?" the dentist asks.
The writer turned to her husband. "Open your mouth, Honey, and show him."