For the last several years, I have been fortunate to spend time a few terrific days with close friends in a home on the north shore at Arrowhead Lake. We read, discuss our writing, watch movies, take walks and generally chilling out from our hectic work schedules and life in general.
Our days start at just before sunrise. Clad in hats, coats, gloves and wrapped in blankets, we sit on the deck sipping coffee from steaming mugs. Every morning we hope to see the local beaver swim by. Itâ€™s a quite time. We look out over the lake whose mirrored surface is broken only by the ripples of the occasional fish as it jumps to catch a bite for breakfast, or by the small wake left by paddling ducks. Itâ€™s paradise.
We usually take our retreat in October. On daily walks through the neighborhood we revel in the leaves as they start to turn the rich, vibrate colors of autumn. The oak trees drop acorns by the bushel. This time, one such oak tree dropped two particular acorns that found their way under my right foot. My ankle turned painfully and down I went. Needless to say, I let out several unladylike words to the astonishment of the local squirrels watching from near by.
After I crawled on my hands and knees to bed that night, I decided that a trip to the local ER was in order. While I sat in the examining room waiting for the doctor, my imagination began to work overtime. I must have dreamed up at least five or six different scenes between hero and heroine. There was the â€œcanâ€™t get out of the bathâ€ scene. The â€œER doctor who makes an after-hours house call to check up on his patientâ€ catches her in a very provocative position after she drops her crutch. The â€œlocal Ranger finds the heroine crawling along the trail on her hands and knees.â€ The hero whoâ€¦
I think you get the idea. It vividly showed me how a writer draws from her experiences. Although I canâ€™t recommend spraining an ankle, I can advise that you take advantage of your adventures for everything they are worth. Thereâ€™s nothing like â€œwriting what you knowâ€ from first had experience.
In a special note – my heart goes out to all the residents in Lake Arrowhead and throughout Southern California who have been devastated by the fires. To the men and women who are on the front lines fighting to protect lives and property and those working in the evacuation centers – God Bless.