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A Writer’s Dilemma

Sometimes I struggle with a story. I love it when story practically writes itself…that rarely happens. Usually I just plug away writing draft after draft until the story gels.

I have the first draft of a story to submit for an anthology call-out. The characters are wonderful, the premise is great, the setting is perfect, but the plot does not flow. Needless to say this is driving me crazy as the deadline is May 15th. The more I thought about the problem, the more that answer eluded me. I knew I had to let it go, reluctantly I did. Or so I thought.

While in the shower… What you thought ideas comes to you when you’re near a computer or have a pan and pen in hand? Not! While in the shower the answer magically appeared. I had started the story in the wrong place—again. You’d think I’d learn. I also started with the wrong character. That was a first for me.

So now I’m running from the shower to make notes for my rewrite and to type of the blog I had no clue I was going to write today.

How about you? What do you do when a story doesn’t flow? Do you have a list of problem areas to start with or do you just wait? I really need to start on that list myself.

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The New Medical Forms

I had a doctor’s visit yesterday morning. Honestly, arthritically painful and moody, I didn’t want to go, but I went anyway. Like you have a choice, right? After signing in, producing insurance info that hadn’t changed and getting a printout of my blood work, the receptions handed me a clipboard to update newly required government information.

Sitting in the exam room, I donned my reading glasses to study the form while waiting for the doctor. My first chuckle came after I wrote my birth date…under that was age. What people can do math these days?

The next question was primary language spoken. The intellectual me wrote ENGLISH. I could hear my English teacher-raised Mom saying, “Speak better. Stop using ain’t. Ain’t ain’t in the dictionary.” The writer in me wanted to enter AMERICAN SLANG. So I stifled my laugh.

Next box was race. I wrote WHITE, but upper-crust Mom would have put CAUCASIAN. Good thing they didn’t ask me in July, I’d want to put BRICK-INDIAN RED, ‘cause I fry and never tan.

Ethnicity stopped me cold. Ever totally blank out on a word? Now I’m out-right laughing at myself as the doctor opened the door. “Problem?” he asked.

“Just laughing at your medical form,” I told him.

“Well, that’s not a comment we usually get here on our forms.” He walked in and closed the door.

I swallowed my stupidity and asked, “What is ethnicity? I know should know that, but I’m clueless.”

“Where your family came from,” he replied. “You know Italy or—“

“Got it. Can I put MUTT? My answer won’t fit in this box.”

“Just put American,” he said, as I wrote it in. “People do put mutt.”

I added MUTT.

Leaving the office in less pain and in a better frame of mind, I arrived home and related my silliness to Hubby. The perfect answer to ethnicity popped into my head. “Oh, Honey, I should have put DESCENDED FROM AN IRISH WITCH.”

Hubby gave me that oh-here-we-go-again look. You see, married to a writer, he’s more comfortable plotting a mystery or planning a murder, than discussing ghosts or witches. But then he only has to list Italian in that tiny box—not English, Irish, and German.

NOTE TO SELF: Ask younger sister, who is studying the family tree, was Great Aunt Sally an Irish Witch or an English one. Need to know that for your next medical form.

Okay, I have a question for you. Is this blog entry as funny for you to read as it was to me write? Hubby says…not so much.