Writing Practice and Meeting Up with Your MUSE
Writing Leap #59
Writing the Incident
Hi Writers out there,
Things happen to us every day. Ho Hum things. Like spilling a box of clementines on the super market floor. Or finding a stash of acorns on the back seat of the car. I find that almost anything can ignite a story if I don’t get all “writerly” about it and just let my imagination fly me on its back to who knows where? Like a father and a son in a car, for example.
Dad does not stop lecturing me about defensive driving habits. Honestly? I don’t know how he can concentrate on the road and go into such detail about safety behind the wheel plus horrifying possibilities–at the same time.
Get this. As we approach the entrance to a four lane highway he says, “Always, always ease up to the highway slowly, Teddy, and look around you.” He gives me his, “I’m wise, you are not,” look. Doesn’t he realize I’m fourteen and know everything there is to know about driving a car?
Suddenly a car swerves around our Jeep from behind, budges ahead of us and zooms onto the highway.
“What the heck?” we both say.
The car zips over to the left lane, cutting off cars in its way. Then switches lanes back and forth to get ahead. Dad tries to keep up with it lane to lane. Clearly he was forgetting his own advice. “I have to get a glimpse of this idiot driver,” he says. “Has to be a real jerk.”
We pull next to the idiot driver and stare.
She pretends not to see us and pulls her hat lower on her face. My cell phone rings. “Teddy? Don’t tell Grandpa about my driving style. Just tell him I’m a real slowpoke on the road. I love you.” I hear the dial tone.
“I guess it wasn’t Grandma who taught you to drive,” I say to Dad. He had to laugh. He grins at me ad I feel real close to him in that moment. I sort of feel we will laugh about this together for a long time.
The inciting incident for this story was just one moment when someone pulled in front of me and dashed onto the highway. I actually pulled over and stopped to write down my imaginary scenario. That’s why I always travel with notebook and pens. You never know when your muse will snuggle up.
Here’s to all of our imaginations!
LINKING THE ARTS
The Blue Boat: A painting of a father and son by Winslow Homer
A Good Word: Bonding, as in father and son moments when their hearts meet in familiarity and love.