Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Writer’s Wednesday - 2010-08-25

Wednesday, August 25

Hello, it is time for another pearl of wisdom (cough, cough) from the mind of Clark Stone. Just kidding. I just hope someone gets something out of what I write. (Big Grin)

Today’s topic will be “My Grandmothers Soup” or how we can weave our memories and experiences into our stories. I think I may have covered the use of one’s memories and experiences in the past. So, here it is one more time.

Over the years, I’ve heard many times that the truth is more fascinating than fiction. I also believe that it can be funnier than fiction. There is bound to be something in one’s past that is funny and can be used one’s fiction to spice things up.

The example I will used in today’s post will be about the time my mom’s mom decided to cook some soup for my older brother. She knew he would arrive sometime around lunch coming in from Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe. Soup is my older brother’s favorite food. Not to mention that I like it too.

She had a good sized pot on the stove when we arrived. The funny part is what came next. She reached into the freezer and pulled out a package of what she thought was okra. It turned out to be sliced jalapenos. As soon as she realized her misstep, she fished out as much of the pepper that she could find.

Needless to say, she wanted to scrap that pot of soup and start over, but I talked her into keeping it. Knowing my older brother, he would have been upset if she tossed out soup. Not only did I have to convince her not to throw it out once but three times.

On the fourth time, my older brother had came in the door and he stopped her. By this time, the soup was ready. David (older brother) got a bowl and filled it with soup as did I. Not to be outdone, if we could eat it, my grandma was not going to let us eat it alone.

She placed three large glasses of ice on the table along with a gallon of cold water out of the refrigerator. All three of us sat at the kitchen table and ate that soup. Though it tasted great, it was very hot. By the time we finished our first bowl, the water in that jug had dropped to the halfway point.

To this day, I wished I had a video of it because it would have shown three people around a table with sweat pouring out, crying, eating soup and drinking water. Several other people came in but they refused to eat any of the soup. We ended up polishing off that pot of soup before we left the table.

What if one of the characters in my story mistakenly put in some sliced jalapenos? What if she did not catch it until she served up? What happens when her guests start eating it and the soup gets hotter with each spoonful? What if her boyfriend really loves spicy food? Then again, what if he does not?

As you can see, the one misstep could lead to a whole bunch of “What If?” questions. Could you build a scene about an event in your past? Do you think it would make a better, more believable scene? I do.

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