While we were in Arkansas at Millwood State Park, camping with family and friends, I saw something. Something I could not get out of my mind. For most of our party, what we saw was just an odd spectacle that we joked about around the campfire. But for me, it was something else. See, I’m a writer. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any books published (YET!) but I have the mind of a writer. I see something like this…
...and I can't let it go! These are literally rail cars that someone put a front door on the short side, and a back door on the back side, and an air conditioner window unit in a cut out hole, and that’s it! They built a wooden structure over the top of them, kind of like a carport and called it done. I didn’t even see any windows! And it sent my mind racing. Who are the people who live there? What led them there? How did they get to a point in their lives where they decided a railcar was a good place to life? What happened to them? What’s their story?
And that’s why I can’t let it go. The question ‘What’s their story?’ I can’t very well knock on the door of one of those railcars (even the nicely panted red one with the floral wreath on it), and ask, so I have to make it up.
All week since we’ve been home a story has been unfolding in my mind about a young woman who finds herself living in a rail car apartment. Over the week the whole story has materialized. Beginning, middle and end. Plot, characters, storyline, it’s all there. I’ve written down the details of my story and maybe one day when things slow down a bit, I’ll actually get to write it. But for now, this lady (who already has a name) has joined all the other characters sitting in a little waiting room in my mind, waiting for me to tell their story. It’s getting busy up there!