An accountant, an elementary school teacher, and an author stumble into a bar in the middle of the night…
Okay, so it wasn’t a bar, it was a restaurant.
And it wasn’t the middle of the night, it was 9 p.m.
And we didn’t stumble, we walked just fine.
But it sounds like the beginning of a great story, doesn’t it? It was definitely the beginning of an evening filled with laughter.
I’ve long been convinced that people are either creative or they aren’t.
That belief is reinforced every April when my accountant friend starts discussing the trials and tribulations of her job. As she counts down the days to April 15 (the day all income Tax forms are due to the IRS here in the States), I get filled with dread at having to file my own government forms.
I do it, and they aren’t easy. (Being self-employed adds forms, of course.)
But, frankly, the one set of forms is all I can take. I spend hours preparing and filing. When I’m done, I spend hours curled up in the corner vowing to do next year’s taxes earlier. A promise long forgotten by the following April, of course.
My school teacher friend and I are more on the creative side. She does a variety of hands-on and crafty things with her daughters as well as her students. Her craftiness, however, is limited.
Not so much by her ability, but by her time. Her girls, while not “young” aren’t of driving age yet and she’s a very active parent.
That leaves me. My jobs are creative. I write. I design web sites. My hobbies are creative. I knit. I spin. I sew. I paint. I draw.
Yet the accountant and the teacher are two of my best friends. When I have a character that is more analytical than creative, I think “what would the accountant do?” A character more middle of the road has touches of the teacher running through the ink.
Isn’t that what writers do? We take the things we see–and sometimes the people we love–and share them with the world. As a mystery writer, I don’t “live out” the exact stories I write (meaning I’ve never killed anyone), but I try to make the characters realistic and their responses accurate.
Those are the things that make for a good story. That understanding, the willingness and the ability to look through another’s eyes makes for a good person.
And that’s why the accountant, the elementary school teacher, and the author stayed in the restaurant for hours laughing it up.
I highly recommend it.