By Annette Dashofy
I’m sitting here staring at a blank page as I ponder a topic for this blog. Do I write about some of the interesting locations we have around here for cheap summer vacations now that gas prices have taken away the joy of travel planning? Do I write about the death this weekend of one of my all time favorite comedians, George Carlin? Now there was a man who could make me laugh each and every time I saw him. I’ve been watching some of his routines on You Tube and thinking that some of the stuff is dated. I mean, was fart really one of the seven words you couldn’t say on TV? Is it still? I don’t think so. Seems to me they say it several times each episode of Two and a Half Men. In case you haven’t ever actually heard that routine, feel free to click here. But be forewarned, this is not the bleeped version. If you don’t want to hear the words, don’t follow the link.
I also considered writing about a recent bout of graffiti in little old Canonsburg where a gang of kids went around spray painting nemesis on cars and houses. Do we need to bring Pittsburgh’s graffiti squad out here to Washington County??? And nemesis? Why do I think these morons just learned a new word and are showing off to the world?
I started scanning other blogs, hoping to mine ideas. Hey, if you can’t come up with an original one, steal one from someone else.
But then divine intervention struck in the form of gunshots. I’ve been hearing a lot of them lately. What makes this blog worthy (or at least, I hope it is) is the fact that I’ve been paying absolutely no attention to them. I just assume someone got a new gun and is out playing with it. Around here, surrounded by acres of pasture and woodlands, guys don’t need to go to a firing range or sportsmen’s club to sight in a new rifle. They just step outside. Not that they DON’T go to the sportsmen’s club. That’s a big social thing. But they don’t NEED to.
Somehow, I suspect that if you heard this kind of gunfire in the city, you’d be thinking the cops should be involved. Drive-by shooting? Domestic disturbance?
And then there are the war-torn cities where bursts of gunfire may have become old hat, although anything but benign.
A couple years ago, I attended a funeral for a close family member. The graveside service included full military rites. A friend of mine was holding onto me, trying to be supportive. But when they fired the twenty-one gun salute, she about jumped out of her skin. I never so much as twitched.
Which then leads to our writing. What kind of background does you protagonist have? If she heard a gunshot, would she flinch? Seek cover? Never bat an eye?
What about you? How do you react to the crack of a gunshot? And how much does your personal background affect that reaction?