A Writer’s Riff
Two characters are roaming around my brain: Julia is a widowed mom approaching forty and soon heading back into the work force. I think she would be pretty, but the last few years have taken a toll on her looks. Alice is a precocious six-year-old about to enter first grade. She’s small for her age, has brown hair, and wears glasses. She was born with serious heart defects and has undergone multiple surgeries, the last one two years ago.
I had a plot for them, but it kept putting Julia to sleep, so I pulled the rug from under them. Because they won’t leave me alone, I’m working on a new plot.
Did Julia, hungry for some romance, fall for a man who turned out to be an abusive control freak and now she needs to get away? No. She’s too smart for that. Did her best friend fix her up with her brother who secretly picks his nose? Yuck. Or after mourning her late husband and dealing with Alice’s surgeries alone, Julia needs a vacation extraordinaire. Should they have an adventure on some exotic island? Should I put them in an RV and send them to a National Park where Julia falls in love with a handsome ranger who adores Alice? What if I make her an investigative journalist whose subject puts her and Alice in danger and they have to go into hiding? Should I send them to Cape Cod where Julia falls for an oyster shucker in Wellfleet who turns out to be an undercover FBI agent? But I don’t write mysteries. I write women’s fiction.
Riffing is like throwing pasta against the wall and seeing if it sticks. A stream of thoughts quickly scratched out from the right side of the brain. I don’t think any of the noodles here will stick, but feel free to tell me if you like one of them! (I’m grinning.)