Friday, May 22, 2015

Do Mystery Writers See the World in a Different Way??????

Do Mystery Writers See the World in a Different Way?? 
by Debra H. Goldstein

Do you think mystery writers see the world in a different way? My husband, children and friends do.

For the past few years they have accused me of seeing events in our lives as fodder for storytelling. Recently, they complained that when we go on vacation I view the sites as possible crime settings instead of for the beauty of the moment. I heartily disagreed; but, between us, maybe they’re right.

I try to keep my reactions in check. For example, when I saw the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, I didn’t immediately say, “If someone fell off….” Art gallerias and museums in Santa Fe, New York, London, Florence and Paris impressed me, but I couldn’t help wondering what it would take to slip a crown jewel, Mona Lisa, or a simple watercolor out the door. During the water architecture cruises in Seattle and Chicago, my mind wandered to the infinite possibilities created by approaching one of the imposing buildings or homes (think Bill Gates) from the water.

This past weekend, we visited the Biltmore House in Asheville. In addition to the normal house tour, there was a special Downton Abbey costume exhibit. Dresses, suits, and uniforms were shown in the rooms they might have been worn in. While my family oohed and aahed at the architecture and clothing, I couldn’t help but think “if I was in the in drawing room with …” or “the servant’s bell rang, but the housemaid never came.”

Even when I stay home, people question my intentions. One of my best beta readers, who has read Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery (February 2016 from Five Star) and most of the short stories published in 2014 and 2015, recently took my husband aside to warn him “don’t eat Debra’s oatmeal. She has a propensity for killing off spouses.”

These accusations hurt, but what can I say? At least for me, they’re true. I do see the world in a different way. What about you?



6 comments:

  1. You are absolutley right--looking at new ways to kill people, listening in on conversations, studying strangers to see if they might be a criminal or thinking of doing a criminal act.

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    1. It really is funny how our brains are wired --- especially when we observe and twist innocent actions of others into wonderful criminal acts :).

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  2. I'm not a writer; however, I imagine all sorts of murder and mayhem when I see different venues. I have the best story beginnings in my mind! Unfortunately, I have no talent for completing stories or imagining dialogues. Love your writing so please, keep on keeping on.

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    1. Pam, you made my day! Thank you for loving my writing...and for taking the time to tell me you've enjoyed some of my pieces. I have a feeling you have plenty of talent to bring those story beginnings to fruition.

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  3. I absolutely agree with you, Debra. When I was in Gettysburg, Pa recently, I thought about the ghosts who probably roam that 20 sq mile battlefield and what an interesting story that might make. Sitting in a restaurant area of the Smithsonian in DC, I watched a family and considered what might happen if one of their children disappeared in the museum. Geez. I never used to wonder about these things.

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  4. Susan,
    You'll know you've been consumed by your writing when the thoughts take over your dreams. :).

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