Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Funny

Although my story has nothing to do with the two-toned man above, it is almost as funny.  Last night I happened to have an epiphany involving a scene in my second book while running on the treadmill.  If you read yesterday's post, you are already aware that I'm kicking it into overdrive with company coming and trying hard to squeeze everything into three or four hours after work and before I fall over unconscious. 

So I'm multitasking like crazy (How can I be 34 and unaware that I can fold clothes while running at 5.0 on the treadmill! I can just see the headlines now: Woman dies when she and her load of laundry are catapulted through an adjacent wall by her treadmill.) when this idea creeps into my head about how my mc and her love interest could meet. It involves a flue fire, but questions immediately pose themselves in my mind:  Does there exist a tool to clean a flue fire? If so, what is is called? Can you use it while the fire is burning? What is the main cause of a flue fire?

All man questions.  So I decide to run outside to where my hubby is working on someone's truck-my hubby is ALWAYS working on someone's truck-and ask him these man questions since he is in fact, a man.  I jump off the treadmill after having just run over two miles, drenched in sweat and dressed in spandex (frightening in itself), hit the door still running and burst into my hubby's shop (he's accustomed to my bursting by now) and begin to fire these flue questions at him. 

In mid-sentence, I realize my hubby's not alone!  The owner of the truck, a 60ish farmer who cuts the hay in the field next to our house is standing next to his truck looking slightly amused at this explosive, scantily clad, young woman firing questions at her husband without so much as a hello.  I pause, wondering how in the world to handle this.  Finally, after a bit of an awkward silence, while he continues to stare at me dumbfounded and expectantly, I resume my sentence.

Apparently, he thought I was addressing my question to him!  Maybe it was because of my husband's lack of response.  As I said, he is accustomed to my sudden outbursts of excitement and they no longer take him by surprise or frighten him.  Maybe it was a reprieve to the man's helplessness (hubby is bent at the waist under a raised hood and is half buried inside the motor) Whatever the reason, and to my great surprise, he began answering the questions as quickly as I could ask them, using words like "chimley" for chimney and "sodie" for baking soda.  My husband is accustomed to such terms as he grew up here in Arkansas.  I however, did not and find it extremely difficult to keep from bursting into laughter at the mere mention of words like "youins" and "lak"-a term ppl here use instead of the word "like". 

He went into specifics (as older men do, particularly chatty farmers) and I was taking rapid mental notes, soaking it all in, extremely grateful for the wealth of information from such a knowledgeable source!  I could see in my peripheral vision my hubby's periodic smile as he took in the man's word choices and his elevated level of engagement in the conversation, as he listened while turning wrenches and blasting the impact.  He knew that I was analying every single word and would comment on it all later.

At any rate, I got quite a laugh and some seriously valuable information from the wisdom of the learned farmer.  The scene turned out fabulous and I'm so thrilled with it.  And who knew that by bursting into my husband's shop full of grease and tools and old farmers that I would get an tutorial on the hazards of flue fires and an Arkansas vocabulary lesson too!!!???   There is much here to cartwheel over! *wink* *big grin*


  1. Great stuff, Val! I am so glad you are expanding your vocabulary to include Uncle Tom's Cabin-like verbal expressions. Yes, they will come in handy one day. Some of my favorites come from my Grandma, God rest her soul. e.g. "I'll swan my time!" and "Like ugly on ape!" - two of my favorite exclamations of hers. Your funny snipit here also makes me realize that good, even great knowledge can sometimes come from seemingly unlikely sources. Fantastic!

  2. Kevin,
    I have found that the characteristics in humans that might make me uncomfortable or doubtful are the very ones I'm trying so very hard to incorporate into my characters. Our quirks and and nuances are what make us fabulous and its why we connect with the people we read about. It's the magic that draws us in! Thanks for sharing your grandmother's fav sayings, they are priceless.

  3. I lOVE this post! As I frequently ask random questions to people who walk to close, I have an appreciation. My hubby often stares as I make friends with people in line at the supermarket, post office, or a restaurant. That poor unknowing farmer should earn a mention in your acknowledgments or a signed copy of your novel :)

  4. Too funny! People like they guy you described are not only terrific sources of information, but make great inspiration for characters in novels!


  5. You do have a knack with pulling one into your word picture and making them see it as if they were, in fact, there with you. I saw the headlines clearly! Woman in freak accident...!
    And that wonderful old farmer? Sounds like my dad!
    Great blog!
    Mimi (p.s. thanks for following me on twitter by the way - had to check this blog out after you specifically mentioned it and I'm really glad I did.)

  6. Mimi,
    You are so wonderful. Yes, I'm a word addict. It gets in the way A LOT! Just ask Julie! Ha! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you!!! Take care up there!