I once wrote a post titled “The Danger of Knowing a Writer.” A few days prior to posting it, I had written another one about an RV experience I had in Florida. A fellow RVer who was mentioned in the article called to give me a hard time about seeing himself in print. Of course, the result was that he ended up in print again.
If you spend much time around a writer, you discover that you don’t have to wrong one to end up in print. You can be funny, interesting, or boring; you can have an interesting face or an unusual way of speaking; you can be a snazzy dresser – or not. The point is, when a writer sits down at the keyboard, anything she has seen, heard, or experienced may come out through her fingers.
I discovered how true this is when I read my son Christian’s first novel. He was in his teens when he wrote it, and I assume the manuscript is filed away somewhere, waiting to be edited and submitted. It made an impression on me, though, especially the thinly disguised, somewhat overprotective mother who woke her son every morning with, “Good morning, Sunshine!” The son, also thinly disguised, was not a morning person, and this cheery greeting probably irritated him to no end.
More recently, I wrote an article for my City Girl column in the local paper called “Graveyard Humor.” It was based on a fun conversation we had with some friends over Sunday lunch. The next week at church, one of the couples laughed and said, “We’re going to have to be more careful what we say around you.” Being careful won’t help. Even I don’t know what will end up on the page when the Muse strikes.