Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Life Lessons and Favorite Stories

A huge part of writing is the author's life lessons. No two authors have had the same experiences, therefore each brings something different to their work. They approach subject matter from different angles. Every day presents the opportunity for new fodder.

Then there are those odd, funny, or unbelievable things that happen that you just know are going to show up in a story somewhere.

Our family has a ranch in southeast Texas. Not only are many of my stories set there, "the farm," as we call it, has given me some of the strangest experiences of my life. Like the time I was stung by a scorpion. Or the time I stepped on a copperhead.

My husband and I spent the day mowing, him with the push mower, me on the riding mower (which is a great place to think, by the way). During the course of the day, as he was mowing the scrub under one of the large live oaks, he spotted a copperhead snake. Yes, they're poisonous. He immediately grabbed the shovel and decapitated the nasty thing and we continued with our work.

By evening, the place looked like a park. Hubby relaxed on the porch as I pulled the riding mower under the live oak and went inside to get a drink. I came out on the porch and asked him to follow me. Now this was in June. It was HOT. I was wearing shorts, a tank top, and tennies with no socks. I had taken about five steps off of the porch when I stepped on something that did not feel like the ground. I looked down to discover I was standing on a copperhead! It's amazing how fast your brain can calculate things sometimes. I have no idea how far its head stuck out from my foot, but I knew that it had the capability to rear back and bite my ankle. My exposed ankle!

Unless you are in a potentially dangerous situation you have no idea what you are capable of. Who knew I could do the high jump? But according to my husband, I set a record that day :-) And while I'm hurtling through the air, he's standing there saying, "There's its mate. Watch it while I get the shovel."

Watch it? Hel-lo.

Needless to say, that ugly creature soon met its fate, too. And I learned that copperhead snakes travel in pairs. Why my husband didn't feel the need to tell me that information sooner, I don't know.

I can laugh about it now. And I've got a great story that WILL show up in one of my stories.

You got a funny story? Share it with us today. It's pretty gloomy here in Texas-overcast with the threat of storms-so I could use a laugh. In the meantime, happy Tuesday!


  1. LOL! I shouldn't laugh. That's horrible, Mindy!! :) I can just see you jumping straight up in the air (kind of like my dog does). :)

    I've had things happen that I've said if used in fiction, on one would believe. Truth really can be stranger than fiction.

    My most recent funny was right after I broke my foot. The next day, I had an apptointment with an orthopedist. While filling out the paper work, my husband walked in front of me, leaned over to pick up my crutches to move them, then tripped over my foot--my unprotected, broken foot!! It was so horrible I wanted to wail crying. But instead, I just died laughing. I could NOT believe it had happened. The woman across from me was horrified! LOL My poor hubby felt awful. :)


  2. Copperhead?? Close to your ankle.
    I probably would have passed out.

    You are one brave girl!!

  3. Let's see...I walked into the men's room in Thailand...luckily a young couple noticed and pulled me out. Then pointed me in the right direction with a fun giggle. It's amazing how quickly human beings bond over humor. Two strangers from around the world that will never forget me and I will never forget them.