Not far from where I live, there’s a fire station. Next to it there’s a couple small houses and then a small strip mall with a Subway, a barber and a fitness center. A rather pleasant slice of middle America.
One day I was driving by and caught sight of an elderly woman sitting outside her brown brick house next to the fire station. She was seated on a bright teal metal chair, watching the world go by. I wondered what she was thinking. I wondered what was on her mind as she watched the world zoom on by.
I thought I might write a story about her. I first imagined her as something of a mentor to a younger person, with her hard-earned wisdom informing the outcome of the story. I set the idea aside for a few days and let it grow. I soon came up with the story of a young couple in a burgeoning romance. They would frequently visit the woman’s Grandmother, who would readily provide warm apple pie, ice cream and gentle advice.
I started writing and realized about halfway through that I didn’t have an ending. I had some idea the course the relationship might take, but I somehow knew that wasn’t the compelling ending I needed. I generally like to at least have an ending in mind but I forged ahead anyway. I got to what I knew would be the final scene and let my instincts take over. I more or less stumbled into what was one of my better endings. Those who have read the story know what I mean (no, I’m not giving it away here). In any case, I’d like to think that the real-life Grandma would enjoy her story.
“Grandma” is one of the fourteen stories that I’ve included in my new book, “Advent: A Short Story Collection”, now available on Amazon.com.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick peek “behind the scenes”. You’ll see more “Story Behind the Story” blog posts very soon.