WHERE’S THE BULLET HOLE?
by Angi Morgan
I originally posted this blog in 2011. Forgive me for repeating, but I'm under deadline and not feeling creative. >>smile<< In the backyard the other day, we heard blanks being fired to scare some blackbirds from their trees. It reminded my husband and I of the time I was at the softball fields and...
... I was shot. I swear. Everyone heard the gunfire. Half the people in the bleachers hit the ground. The other half stared at the white smoke billowing around my feet. And me? Well, I froze. My life didn’t flash before my eyes, but I assure you, a thousand thoughts raced through my mind in a millisecond.
I can laugh about it now. Now that I know it was an over-aired inner tube exploding. But for all purposes, I experienced something as close to the real thing as I ever want to get.
I froze. My heart landed in my throat. Not just figuratively, but viscerally. I couldn’t move, speak, blink. I had no clue what was happening around me. It took me a good thirty seconds before I felt my chest to verify I was still whole. Honestly, I knew I’d been shot at. Just knew it. I didn't understand why my hands weren't bloody. The emotions ranged from astonishment to relief and back again to laughter once I moved the tire and saw the rather large hole in the side of the rubber.
To give you a better picture of what happened… I (used to) set softball fields for the city where I live. The stands were full of college students and parents at the Red River Conference tournament. I push 90 pounds of chalk and machine (hopper) around the field refreshing the foul lines between games. One of the front tires had been over-inflated and decided to blow out. The sound was incredibly close to a gunshot and managed to echo off the buildings. People really did think we’d been fired at, going so far as to dial 911. (Try explaining that your husband over-inflated the tires on your equipment...not easy.)
What does any of this story have to do with writing?
Well, I can tell you that I’ll be able to draw from that adrenaline rush for some time to come. I write romantic suspense, writing about gunfire and shots fired several times. And I’d say that I’m actually used to gunfire having been raised around guns. But this experience was different. The world really did move in slow motion for at least thirty seconds. My thoughts followed a progression from: I’ve been shot. Should I move? I’m okay—no wounds. Did kids put firecrackers in my hopper? If I move it will something else happen? What DID happen? Oh, goodness, the tire exploded! “It’s okay everybody, it was the tire.”
Again, you’re probably asking, what does this story have to do with writing?
It’s added a deeper perception to my gun scenes—that’s for certain. But it also reminded me that getting into the real world is important for authors. Life experiences are what we bring to our writing to make it unique. An emotional connection is what we share with our readers. That connection is what brings them back for the second, third, or a lifetime of reads. It earns us a place on their keeper shelves.
As for those over-inflated tires… I can blame my husband for that. Helping me out, he aired the hopper’s tires the night before. Unfortunately, he’d forgotten his glasses and just guessed at how high to fill them. LOL
I’ll be around to chat throughout the day and would love to know what unusual, silly, or dangerous thing has happened to you because someone forgot their glasses. I have a little something from Texas for one commenter.
$20 Gift Certificate to Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Lots of chances to enter the Rafflecopter drawing.