Great scenes grow from conflict. My home during the holidays could serve as the inspiration for a NYT bestseller:
- My mother is a rabid Alabama fan. My brother-in-law is a fervent Auburn fan. (This is why we keep a fire extinguisher in each room). That scene writes itself.
- Everyone (except me) fights for control of the kitchen (the arguments that have erupted at the stove over the proper temperature to cook green beans have inspired Greek epic poems). This year is the battle for dressing supremacy. My mother-in-law and grandmother are fighting for hegemony when it comes to this Thanksgiving staple. Vegas odds favor my grandmother. She fights dirty.
- The "You Don't Have to Go Home, But You Can't Stay Here"battle rages for hours. I swear, there is tick DNA running in my family's blood because these people can't be burned out of my den. My Saturday School training won't permit me to flat-out ask them to leave, so creativity is my only option. I've tried everything - Christmas music on the stereo, horror movies on the television (yes, I've really done this), husband sleeping on the couch, etc. Nothing works. Nothing.
If Thanksgiving Day isn't rich enough to provide me with inspiration to write conflict, there is always Black Friday. Between shopping carnage and trimming the tree (each year my husband and I debate whether Yukon Cornelius or an angel should top the tree - I don't know how that bearded lumberjack keeps winning), my insurance company may up my premiums. Then, there is the Iron Bowl. I don't think I need to comment on that.
I can’t be alone. Where in your day-to-day life have you seen conflict that can help improve your scenes?