Monday, December 11, 2006

I Just KNEW It!

Why, oh why, oh why, did I ever agree to her request? I knew the eventual outcome as soon as the yes left my mouth.

My husband and I were inching our way across icy roads amidst near white-out snowy conditions on Interstate 71, returning from a ministers' retreat in Cincinnati, when a call came through on my cell phone. A certain young woman who lives under our roof (and who shall remain nameless for this post) asked to borrow my car, seeing as how she is presently sans transportation of her own. I tried to say no. Honest, I did. I knew she had no business being out on these wintry roads. Precious and sweet though she be, this particular daughter of mine doesn't exactly have an, ahem, stellar driving record. I believe she's totalled three cars in as many years--hence, her present lack of a personally owned set of wheels.

(Even now, I can hear her protests--"But, Mom, the last wreck was so NOT my fault!") Um, hum. I know. And for the sake of domestic tranquility, I won't even bother bringing up the number of speeding tickets she's collected in the six years she's been behind the wheel.

Despite my protests, this nameless daughter's pleadings won out. I cave every time. After all, I couldn't very well argue the point that she was trying to get to work at a promotional gig in Cleveland, some 50 miles away. . .and, "M-O-M! aren't you always after me to do the responsible thing, even when it means a little inconvenience???"

Incriminated and condemned by my maternal words of wisdom.

You can read the writing on the ol' blog wall, can't you? Yep. She wrecked my car. I'm now forced to wedge myself into a teensy rental as I wait for a return call from the repair shop to tell me whether or not my car is a total loss. I thank the Lord that no one suffered physical injury and no other vehicles were involved in the crash. The end result could have been so much worse. Still, when will I learn to steer clear of those negative inevitabilities whenever possible?

When it comes to your story's conclusion, learn from my parenting mistakes. (Do as I say, not as I do!) Avoid the predictable at all costs. Blindside your protagonists with plot twists they never saw coming, and do it in a way that forces them to face their most dreaded fears. In real life, we sidestep suffering whenever possible, but to do so in fiction sets the stage for a boring read.

Travel safe through all those writing roadblocks!



Mary Connealy said...

Ouch, sorry about the car. But the twisted ending to our books is great advice. I'm really playing with the unexpected in my cozy mysteries especially.

Susan said...

Mary, I love the new twist you're taking with your hero of book two. A MANNY! How funny is that. Perfect. I would have probably steered you away from a professional cop if at all possible anyway. Good work! sd

Jess said...

I get violent when I invest a lot of time in a book only to get to a horribly predictable ending --or one that disappoints me. :( The way I see it, the ending should send me rushing to google more books by said author. :)

Thank God your daughter wasn't hurt! I wouldn't know how to drive in snow. Today it was actually HOT here in Louisiana.

eileen said...

I like an ending that HOOKS you and makes you crave more from that writer. And I love Moms who just want to do the best for their kids. Dented fenders and all!

Anonymous said...

You put a really nice spin on it, Eileen. Good work. I've got four mostly grown daughters and we've had so many wrecks, sometimes it feels like we're feeding cars into a sausage grinder.
Mary Connealy