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When ugly takes over, write?

Let’s say something bad happens to you. What you do about it depends on what it is…and maybe on who else is involved. If someone you trust cheats you, that probably feels worse than a stranger picking your pocket. What happens next?

Well, some folks will cuss under their breath and walk away to sweat out their frustrations at a gym. Others might decide fisticuffs is the most satisfying way to soothe the ugly feelings raging inside. However, for me, such a betrayal often leads me to my computer to write a scene or short story or novel. Writing has always been my outlet for choking back grievances or satisfying my malevolent instincts.

Sure, it works for when I’m sad or nervous or scared or lonely too. But let’s face it, there’s nothing more satisfying than “getting even” disguised as art. However, no matter what event triggers a story idea, a project is bigger than its instigating thought or emotion. I may not end with the same tale I sat down to write for many reasons.

For example, the nagging question, “Why did my friend do that to me?” may seem simple while still hurt or angry. He‘s a bastard! But as time goes by, other possibilities come to mind. Maybe his marriage is on the rocks. Maybe he’s depressed about that whole situation. Maybe he needs money to pay alimony. Maybe he stole that new Mercedes camper in his driveway to get away from her constant nagging. Oh look, he’s loading a mummy bag onto the roof rack. Did he kill her and roll her up in it? Maybe someone saw him do it and is blackmailing him and that’s why he wanted to borrow that fiver from me. Wait! Is that a satchel of money he’s stuffing under the front passenger seat? Hmm. That looks like my getaway stash. It IS my escape satchel. Oh my God, he’s got the body that was in MY garage. It didn’t stink that much! And then I realized, my friend was stealing it. MY favorite body. The one I keep in the freezer for special events. The bastard!

And that, my fellow writers, is a perfect prolog. All it took was a shot of Chevis Regal and a torpedo-shaped cigar. Now the hard part. The why when where and how. And choosing the best Poirot of the lot…

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