Last night my husband and I attended a charity auction event. We had been invited by a close friend to sit at her table and enjoy a nice dinner, a glass or two of wine and the pleasant conversation of several old friends. Since the event was to raise money for a school both my children had previously attended it was filled with people we had not seen for some time.
Caught up in the swirling mists of conversation about children, aging parents, jobs and politics were questions about my writing. “So, are you still doing that writing thing? How’s that writing group you used to talk about? Anything ever happen with your writing?” It got me to laughing because writing has been such a part of my life for so long I could easily have substituted a vital life sustaining function into any of those questions and it would have sounded the same to me.
“So, still doing that breathing thing? How’s that beating heart thing of yours going? Anything ever happen with your soul?” It’s not that people aren’t kind or well meaning when they ask, they are! It’s just that what they view as a side hobby I view as something embedded deep in my existence.
And to me writing doesn’t just mean putting this down on paper or into a computer screen; it’s all about the story. I tend to see stories all around me. Last night, for example, they were bouncing all around that big room as bright and fun as the white lights and silver and blue Christmas ornaments that decorated the room. I want to share just a few.
The romance novel! My friend who bought the table was introducing us to the first man she has dated since her divorce. A lot could be done with that story, right? Would her friends approve, was he willing to be put on display, what would he get her for Christmas? Can’t you just see a good tearjerker come out of that true life situation? Well, I can!
The thriller! Didn’t it seem like Mr. X chatted it up with Mrs Y a bit too long in the dark corner? Mr. Y seemed to watch closely with narrowed eyes…his hand curled around his whisky glass just a little too tightly. He followed them outside, keeping back at a discreet distance. Only to return a few moments later alone, wiping something off his hands. Would Mrs. Y been seen again at the bake sale next week?
The horror novel! A new priest, Father New has moved into the rectory to share living space with Father Old, the current leader of the parish. Doesn’t Father New look healthy while Father Old seems thinner, paler, more tired. And Father Old has complained of not sleeping well, how odd. Does it seem strange to anyone else that Father New is never seen before 5pm? What’s that, Father New is only eating the bloody drippings from the bottom of the prime rib plate!!!
I could go on and on…..but if you are a writer you know what I mean.