So...A Writer Walks into a Story...

 

I'm in Tucson. There is now snow. Everything is brown and green. And I miss Maine.

My best friend gets married on Sunday. Her Husband-to-be will most likely be released from the hospital tomorrow after a nearly fatal asthma attack. We flew 3,000 miles to be a part of the beginning of their Happily Ever After. But before we missed the first plane on Tuesday, we walked into a story at the Bangor Quality Inn on Monday evening being closer to the airport gave us some breathing room in the morning.

We just didn't realize that meant 24 hours before the next flight and texts messages from the BFF about the future Mr. BFF, the epi pen that saved his life long enough for the ambulance crew to do it again on the way to the hospital, and the very obvious irony in the hospital staff trying to feed a man deathly allergic to eggs and poultry a chicken dinner followed up by a pancake breakfast.

Before that, though, I walked into a story while holding my daughter's hand at the Bangor Quality Inn hotel. Front desk clerk Chris Snow and regular guest Anne Saunders chatting it up. I had my phone out of my bra and asked them if I could take a photo before anyone moved and the story wrote itself inside of my head before the words "I'm a writer. Do you mind if I share this?" came tumbling out of my mouth.

The two consented and then I explained what a blog is, which s funny but also true. Chris is exactly who I want to walk in and see at every hotel I ever check in to. Anne, obviously, agrees with me. She and Chris go way back from before and the Quality Inn was something else and something else before that. And the scene grew warmer and simpler and sweeter simply because it was real.

I'm often asked how I go about the nasty business of gathering ideas for my writing. So far, my best answer is that I don't. The moments that become essays and columns and blog posts and chapters? They find me.