3 Comments

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?

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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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