Monday, May 23, 2011

What I Know

Writers are often told to write what they know. I personally don't subscribe to that belief--I think writers should write what they love--but for the record, what follows is a short list of what I know, all of which I learned today:

1. I know that a young child won't sit still and be quiet in a waiting area no matter how many times you ask him or how many snacks you offer. Also, the loudness of the child's voice is directly proportional to how many people are glaring at the child's mother.

2. I know that when you go into a car repair shop to have just one thing fixed, the mechanics, great sleuths that they are, will never fail to find a half-dozen more necessary repairs. This is good for safety's sake, of course, but bad for the credit card.

3. Similarly, I know that car repair costs breed like the proverbial rabbits. Today's $700 brake job will unfortunately be followed by tomorrow's $800 bill for new tires.

4. Finally, I know that a child who cries because she is tired of waiting four hours for the aforementioned brakes to be fixed will climb up on your lap, then vomit all the food she ate in her entire life all over your shirt and pants, much to your horror and embarrassment and the other customers' disgust. You must then sit there with no change of clothes while the repairs that you were just told would take "only another ten minutes" proceed to take nearly an hour. (If it weren't for a kindly older couple who jumped up to help me, I have no idea how I would have extricated myself from that mess. I was drenched. I literally could not stand up.)

So today, those are the things I know. Do I think they're story fodder? Perhaps. Do I intend to use them? Not if I can help it. It's more than enough just to live them.

Trust me.


  1. now that is a bad day!
    the knob on the door leading to the garage broke this morning on our way out. i hope my husband can get in later...

  2. I'm new here, but already, this one had me laughing. As a mother of four, let me just say I relate!

  3. I had to tweet this one. :D

    If I stuck to writing what I know, neither my already books nor that in progress would ever have existed. What, after all, do I know about vampires or mermaids?

  4. Ouch! But I'd love to read stories that incorporate that type or stark realism at least. Writing what you know doesn't have to mean writing only what you know.

  5. Tara: Was your husband ever able to get in?

    Kimberly: Thanks! Welcome to the blog. :)

    Deb: Thank for the tweet!

    nascentnovelist: That's a good point. Thanks for commenting!