Monday, August 6, 2012

Writers are weird.


Source: Wikimedia Commons
Recently I drove a friend of mine to a downtown Indianapolis hotel because her son had an early appointment at Riley Children’s Hospital the next day. On our way there, on downtown Meridian Street, a police car zoomed out in front of our car and stopped. The officer jumped out, drew his gun and shouted at a suspect to get down on the ground.

My passengers (my friend and her mother) screamed and ducked.

I grinned ear to ear and took in everything. “Oh this is awesome. Check out that gun!”

I memorized every detail – the size of the gun, the stance of the officer, the way he held his weapon, his tone of voice, how neatly pressed his shirt was, and his tall, skinny frame. I studied everything carefully, thrilled to be witnessing a real-time live crime drama.

My friends, frightened and shaking, stayed on the floor.

It reminds me of the time in Kansas many years ago (okay, over 30 if you must know) when my boyfriend and I had a gun held to our heads for being parked in a farmer’s field looking at stars through my boyfriend’s zoom lens camera. (We really were looking at the moon and the stars. Honest. Really. Why don’t you believe me?)

The owner of the field pulled his muscle truck up behind us and put on his fog lights. Minutes later his son pulled up and did the same.  They got out of their trucks and walked up to our car.

They were drunk.

They had rifles.

They cocked them, held them to our heads and yelled at us for being in their field

I prayed while my boyfriend cried.

Somehow we negotiated our way out of the drunkard's line of fire.  As soon as we escaped unharmed I turned to my boyfriend and said, “I can’t wait to write this down!”

He left me because of that.

Writers are weird. They can’t go through anything without filing it away as “research.”

Some writers scream when they see a stick up and then there are those of us who just can’t wait to write it all down.

Are you as weird as I am? What experiences do you remember hurrying to write down?

 Karla Akins is a pastor's wife, mother of five, grandma to five beautiful little girls and author of O Canada! Her Story.  Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, she lives in North Manchester with her husband, twin teenage boys with autism, mother-in-law with Alzheimer's and three rambunctious dogs. Her favorite color is purple, favorite hobby is book-hoarding, and favorite food group is cupcakes. When she's not writing she dreams of riding her motorcycle through the Smoky Mountains.


15 comments:

  1. This is so true Karla! When the quadriceps off the femur I cataloged every pain so I could vividly describe what my protag was feeling when she fell off that cliff. You have to work with what you have.

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    1. Oh my! I do that, too, when I'm the doctor's office or at the hospital. So many sensations/emotions to remember! We're certifiable, aren't we? Write on, girl!

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  2. Add my name to the weird list. When a series of unlikely events landed me in a Ukrainian military hospital for leg surgery in June, I lay there memorizing each event. The doc complimented me on my high pain tolerance, but I should have confessed I was too busy studying his O.R. to pay attention to his scalpel. ;)

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    2. You are a VERY BRAVE AND WEIRD WRITER! Just the idea of being in a Ukrainian hospital gives me the heeby jeebies! When I was there in the late 90s I broke a tooth and suffered with it until I got back to the states. Perhaps things have improved since then. I think you definitely win a weird writer award!

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  3. That's hilarious!!! I think I'd do the same thing! lol Thanks for sharing, Karla.

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    1. Hee hee. Thanks for reading, Jessica!

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  4. Oh,yeah. Anything out of the ordinary becomes a possible story. Forget the guns and knives, this is real novel material. Love it, Karla!

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  5. I think this is the FIRST time I've heard this story!! :-) Mom

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    1. Mom, Vassar Playhouse; you didn't hear about it for obvious reasons! :-)

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    2. I didn't punch that??????oh well. All this tech just about does me in...lol

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    3. Oh my after all these years..... lol.....:-)

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  6. Heeheehee, Karla! But seriously, you need to keep your head *down*, honey....
    -Emily Reynolds

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  7. LOL, Emily!! Thanks for reading!

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