Friday, August 18, 2006
Writing for Scenes and Beans sure isn't like writing in my office at the newspaper. There I have some PRIVACY (a little hint for Wilbur, who's leaning over my shoulder and treating me to a good whiff of his egg-y breath.) At the paper, no one sees it till I'm good and ready for them to.
In my first post, I told you about my first newspaper, the one I made in second grade, and how I learned to be careful about what I report. I've learned plenty since then. One particularly important lesson I've learned is to pay attention to my wife's intuition.
I remember our first year of marriage. I was an up and coming reporter, full of vim and vinegar like young Leslie is now. When my wife told me that something fishy was going on at our new neighbor's house, I told her she had an overactive imagination. We'd only owned our little ranch-style house for a year, but our neighbor Vesta had made us feel right at home--inviting Becky for tea, bringing us baked goods, and sharing her sweet garden tomatoes. When a middle-aged single woman moved in next to us, Becky wanted to return the favor. She whipped up some Rice Krispie treats (the only thing she knew how to make in those days), and took them over.
Several minutes later she returned, her cute little forehead wrinkled in puzzlement. "I know the woman is home. I saw her walk out and fetch her mail fifteen minutes ago, and her car is in the driveway, but she didn't answer the door. I left the treats on the stoop."
I told her not to take it personally, that the poor woman was probably just in the bathroom or something. As it turned out, we never did get to actually talk to the new neighbor. She'd always slip between her house and car like a salamander darting from underneath one log to another. Becky took to watching the woman (Darlene Martin was her name) from behind our drapes and reporting anything to me she thought to be suspicious. "Honey, Vesta says Darlene is from Florida. Why would she move to Idaho, anyway?" "Look at all those grocery bags! No single woman buys that many groceries. Something's fishy over there."
I just rolled my eyes and started calling her Gladys Cravitz for being such a voyeur.
Six months later, Darlene was arrested. Becky was right about the grocery bags. They weren't full of groceries, but rather alligator hides sent up from Darlene's cohorts down in Florida. Apparently, Darlene had a little workshop in her basement, where she'd make purses and belts out of the illegally-gotten hides collected by poachers.
From then on, I listened to my wife better. Not that her intuition is full-proof. There was a time not too long ago, when she went out for dinner at a little Italian place on the outskirts of town with her girlfriends. Partway through their dinner, she excused herself, ran to the ladies' room and called me on her cell phone. "Jared, you've got to get down here. Someone is planning a murder!" She'd overheard two men talking in the next booth. She couldn't see them over the high-backed seats and was too afraid to look.
I rushed on down to investigate, my mouth watering over the great story (and the garlic bread I figured I'd pick up while I was there). Unfortunately, all I got out the deal was the garlic bread. The two men in the booth were S-man and a friend, discussing the death of a character in one of his sci-fi novels over spaghetti.
Still, Becky's right more often than she's wrong, so I never hesitate to check it out when she thinks she smells a story. After all, Gladys was right about Samantha, wasn't she?
I also enjoy your posts. So well written.
Sure am glad that Vesta was the good neighbor, I'd hate to think of a Vesta doing anything illegal, since it was my grandma's name.
Links to this post:
Bailey Truitt ~ Java Joint owner
Leslie Brymes ~ reporter extraordinaire
Carla Radling ~ realtor at your service
Wilbur Hucks ~ ya gotta love him
Jake Tremaine ~ retired logger
Ted Dawson (S-Man) ~ sci-fi writer
Hank Detcher ~ pastor and friend
Janet Detcher ~ keeps Hank in line
Bev Trexel ~ retired teacher
Angie Brendt ~ Bev's best pal
Sarah Wray ~ Simple Pleasures owner
Jared Moore ~ Kanner Lake Times
LEARN MORE ABOUT KANNER LAKE
A Christian Worldview of Fiction
Mary Ann Diorio
Girl's Write Out
Joy in the Litter Box
A Life in Pages
Pieces of Me
Readin N Writin with Patricia
Robin Lee Hatcher's Write Thinking
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