By Martha Reed
Sometimes I have to invent my characters and sometimes they are handed to me on a platter. That’s what happened this past weekend and boy! Do I like this new character. Right now I'm calling her Miss Soze. And how will I use her? Heaven help us, I don’t know but I do know when I do use her I know there will be plenty of fireworks.
You’ll need some back story: Personally, I don’t do anything bad anymore. Don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t take anything stronger than 400m Ibuprofen. I’m boring. Mostly I work hard, pay my taxes, make sure the kids get fed something nutritious and try to get them to bed with a storybook at a decent hour. When I do let myself have a 2PM latte I am cutting loose and living large. Yippee! Caffeine and Ibuprofen, my two remaining vices. Yea, how the mighty have fallen.
So anyway, I was invited to a cabin at Moraine State Park last weekend and I was glad to go. Nice relaxing weekend, long walk in the woods, blueberry pancakes, a good book in the rocking chair out on the porch. Ahhh! Just what the doctor ordered. I headed up on Saturday and met the rest of the party on the South Shore dock. They had rented a pontoon boat and it looked like the Redneck Yacht Club out there on the water – a pontoon boat full of men, women and children, loose Tivas, fishing gear and empty juice boxes. Yippee! A real boatload of desperados, yessir.
We toodled around for an hour of so, letting the kids fish in some of the coves. Just before we turned for the marina and home, I picked up one of the rods and gave the line a toss, or three. That’s my recollection and I stand by it, that I cast the line no more than three times. That’s when a lake patrol boat swooped down on us and two Fish and Wildlife game wardens tied up and the bigger warden pointed right at me. Me? Are you serious? What did I do? Well, evidently, casting the line constitutes fishing without a license and that earned me a citation, my first in this fair Commonwealth. It ain’t a vacation if you don’t get a citation. Truthfully, needing a fishing license never even entered my mind because I don’t fish. And, as a friend of mine added, I wasn’t really fishing because I knew I wouldn’t catch anything but that excuse didn’t float plus ignorance of the law is no excuse and I do know that and I’m not offering this blog as an excuse, only as an explanation. So there it is, no license for me and a $112 fine off a Hello Kitty fishing pole and a beat worm. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should be ashamed. What a racket.
So you’re asking, how does all this fit into a blog about writing? I’ll tell you. It’s simple. It gets me exactly where I want to be. A very wise woman once told me to ‘use everything you feel’ and I thought of her words stewing in my own juice all the way back to the cabin. “Use Everything You Feel’. I explored what I was feeling and mostly it came down to anger over the injustice of the situation. That great bully had absolutely no interest in looking at the larger picture of what was actually going on in the boat, all he saw was a $$$ fine and a boatload full of city slickers. His attitude and lack of compassion for the situation still makes me mad and worst of all, he scared the kids.
So we got to the cabin and I put the kids to bed and went out to the porch and sat in the rocking chair and took a good hard look at all the emotional upset I was feeling. I decided to try to connect it to an archetypical character and boy, do I have one right at hand: Miss Soze, The Righteous Underdog and she’s pissed. I can’t wait to meet her. I'm hoping for one heck of a story.