A Writing Blog About Playing Around with a Story Line in Different Literary Genres and Different Literary Techniques
Writing Leap #37
Hi Writers, O.K. You’ve created a list of highlights from an observation of yours. Or an event, movie or meeting you’ve attended. (www.writinglikeadancer.com/writingyourhighlights)
Is there one small detail from your list that intrigues you? Grab it! And create a story around it.
A detail can trigger your storytelling imagination and send you plots, characters and situations you had never thought of. This is great writing practice for putting a detail you have observed in one context into another context.
So what about the stranger’s large bow tie at the banquet table? What about the odd picture on your colleague’s desk? What about the sweet kiss a child plants on a flower in the park? Go!
Here’s mine inspired by the shower head in my hotel room.
The Storyline is: What I Noticed
This was fun. She was home. The back seat of Tommy’s old VW Beetle was packed high with stuffed duffles, laptops, Tommy’s sax, three pairs of ski boots. She laughed and laughed with her two best friends up front, Dan and Tommy. It was great to be driving back up north to college after winter break. Dan was turned sideways in his seat so he could talk to her.
The roads were slick with ice, but Tommy was a great driver, very cautious, and she knew she was safe driving with him.
The nightmare happened in a breath. A huge monster truck heading south careened over the snowy highway divider. The impact sent the Beetle spinning. A wail came out of her stomach up through her throat and out her mouth. It seemed distant. She managed to open the car door and fall out.
Sirens, an ambulance with the back doors open, clusters of police huddling around Tommy’s Beetle. She stumbled to the edge of a gathering crowd, grabbing on to a bush, trying to focus her eyes. Blurry, whirling red lights bombarded her from the tops of the police cars. Men in white pants carried a stretcher to the ambulance. She made out Tommy’s dirty sneakers sticking out from a sheet that covered his body and face. She felt herself floating. There was Dan on a stretcher too, touching his eye that was gushing blood.
Her head throbbed. Pounding against her eyes. She found herself wandering further away from the crowd. She clutched her throat, leaned over and threw up. She kept walking. A big hotel with lots of softly lit windows loomed ahead. She walked into the lobby, pulled out the credit card that was, thank god, in her pocket and booked a room.
“Mom, Dad.” She telephoned her parents and choked out what had happened. “I’m O.K. I promise.” Why did she say that? She wasn’t O.K.
“Lie down, darling, lie down,” her mother sobbed.
“We’ll drive up there as fast as we can, pumpkin. An hour and a half tops. We’ll be right there,” her father said.
The room tilted up and down. During the first five minutes in the warm shower she just shivered and clung to the towel bar. The shower head was huge, maybe ten inches square and she stuck her face right into it. As the warm water cascaded on her head it seemed to her she was in the middle of a light-filled waterfall spilling down all over her, slowly diminishing the throbbing pain. She took slow breaths. She turned her back into the deep permeating heat of her waterfall and turned again to let the caresses splash over her, drenching her hair, seeping into her eyes. Time disappeared. Why wasn’t she sobbing? Some dim voice in her brain said, “This is what shock is.”
When her parents let themselves into the hotel room she barely heard them. Her waterfall splashed on and on and she was rooted there. She didn’t want to leave her soothing friend.
Dressed and now sobbing, she said to her parents, “I want to go to the local police. They need to ask me questions about Tommy and Dan.”
“First we take you to the emergency room to be checked out,” her father said. Her mother couldn’t let go of her.
Happy Writing Everyone,
LINKING THE ARTS
A Favorite Quote: “To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” Paul Valéry
The Girl’s Shower Image