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Role-Playing

The writing assignments for Lucy’s class this semester were on a whole new level. Each assignment was intentionally lengthened to help us create stories with more depth. More words always means more work in creating, editing and typing. My typewriter seemed to be permanently in use this term. There were choices in the syllabus and the Valentine’s Day assignment permitted us to choose between a short story on war or a romance novelette. I knew what I wanted to choose but figured having Edie help with my story would result in a higher grade. I only knew war stories from those the guys discussed.

Unfortunately, the heroes in my life were limited to the grocer, my car mechanic and Mr. Friel, who delivered the beer. I didn’t have any costumed characters to draw inspiration ¬†from. I was certain it would be improper for me to create a fantasy about any of my friends’ husbands. I called Edie and asked if I could check in with her. Edie was getting bigger but could still move around pretty easily. The swelling in her feet was under better control also. I explained my homework to Edie and she sat back in her chair. I was uncertain what she was a thinking. Edie told me that she had never thought about using someone she knew in a story. Edie said she used some children’s picture encyclopedias that she purchased from a yard sale for inspiration. There was no shortage of possibilities in the books – princes, sheiks, lumberjacks, barons, etc. The premise that an ordinary man could be a hero in one of her novels seemed almost amusing. They would have to be in disguise somehow, like a mistaken identity.

This fact actually gave me my idea on how to write the story. I was going to make Steve my hero. Once that light went off in my head, Edie just gave me some pointers on exotic places and things to include. I wasn’t sure how exotic the place would be since I had not travelled much. I asked to borrow one of the encyclopedia and would choose the fun stuff from there.

After that, we talked about the baby. I wanted Edie to know that she could call at anytime, even if late at night when the time came if Artie wasn’t in town. Edie let me know that Artie had planned some time off around her due date and she was hoping the baby would be prompt. Even so, I let her know that it was okay to call. First babies are a lot of work because you want to do everything right. Second babies tend to come more easily and the nervousness decreases due to all of the mistakes you make on your first child.

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