Out of My Element 

  The other day I had an iconic must-be-used-in-a-story moment.

I was in the music store looking around waiting for someone to come to the front so I could pick up my son’s saxophone. Or more specifically my husband’s sax that he gave to our son for fifth grade band.

I remember fifth grade orchestra, and my attempts at playing violin. How that story ended is one for a different day, but suffice it to say ended in one of the most influential and traumatic experiences of my life.

Actually, that wretched (yes, I’m using the word I most hate) experience in grade school is what brought me to that moment from last Thursday.

At forty-plus I found myself in a music store and realized I’ve never been somewhere so foreign. I was milling around looking at instrument accessories and devices that I had no clue as to their purpose. I was more at home checking out fishing lures and bows even though I don’t fish or hunt.

The experience transformed me into the heroine of an unknown story. What scenario would bring a rhythmically challenged, tone-deaf woman to a music store, and what about the man she encounters? Is he a musician too? Would it be a stereotypical uptight woman meets free-spirited musician? What does she look like? Would he have equal pre-conceived ideas about her? Or being a speculative fiction writer, is there a hero at all? Maybe she meets someone who is to send her on a quest or the music store a portal into another realm. Story ideas are brewing.

What is the most “foreign” (not country or cultural) place that you’ve visited?

Think about that place. What is your story?

About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

3 comments on “Out of My Element 

  1. Interesting thoughts, Gretchen! I have a friend who is tone deaf, but does great things with a sound board, because she has a greater grasp of the nuances of volume and ability to distinguish which speaker sounds are coming from that she wants/doesn’t want.

  2. LOL Clothing stores are absolutely alien to me if I have to buy something more dressy than jeans and sweatshirts/tee-shirts. They were the reason I learned to sew.
    And shoe stores. It doesn’t help that I’m hard to fit–I have arches you could drive a truck under. if I have to go shoe shopping by myself, I usually leave bawling and shoeless.
    But send me to a bookstore, pet shop, or hardware store, and you won’t see me for hours. 🙂

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