This week’s topic was “Have you overheard a conversation and added it in some way to a story?”
I really struggled with this one. I’m assuming that the fox who suggested it has drawn inspiration from conversations she overheard.
I spent a few days turning over the books I’ve written, trying to figure out whether any of them contained dialogue that I’d heard elsewhere, but was unable to find anything I’d heard from other people. Frankly, I try to avoid listening in on other people’s conversations. But I finally realized that a conversation between the main characters in The Calico Heart is similar to several I had with my husband.
Hubby, as I’ve mentioned here, hates to travel. We’ve had plenty of invitations to go places, but he always preferred to stay at home. When my high school friends invited us to come and visit them in San Francisco, he said he had no interest in anything there. He didn’t want to visit my relatives in Japan, because he assumed he’d feel out of place. Even when my brother and his wife bought a time-share condo in Hawaii and invited us to go, he said he didn’t want to spend the money. Fortunately, he’s never stopped me from going anywhere.
When I started brainstorming an issue that would cause a conflict for the long-married couple in my story, I turned to my own life and the fruitless arguments we often had here. Sylvia Miller, newly retired and ready to travel the world, collects travel brochures and starts making plans. Dave, her husband, uses arguments similar to what I heard: “I don’t need to travel hundreds of miles for those things. I can see them on TV and be a lot more comfortable.” Another excuse was “We can’t afford for both of us to go” or “I’m just not interested in seeing anything there.”
Sylvia’s solutions actually mirrored some of mine. She got a part-time job to help pay for trips she wanted to take. And when Dave still refused to go, she found a travel group and joined them. Their final solution isn’t something that’s likely to happen in our home. I still travel alone, but hubby says he wants to go on a trip somewhere as soon as he recovers from his back issues. His surgery was last July, so I’m not holding my breath, but if we travel somewhere together, I’ll be sure to take a lot of pictures to prove to myself it actually happened!