What if is a great way to build your plot in the outline days and a good way to see where you can throw more rocks and bricks at your characters. I had the interesting idea to play that with my own life. You can do it, too!
I spent the last weekend at a wonderful Science Fiction convention, ConDor Con, in San Diego. I sat in on every writing panel I could manage. I did very little else. But the information I picked up has been eye-opening. And got me thinking.
When I was in my mid-twenties, I lived with my sister, her husband, and their daughter. I didn’t date, I went to school and worked, and read. Watched TV. I did not have a life. I lived rent-free in exchange for occasional babysitting, yard work, and helping with the housework. Dull, dull, dull.
My sister had a party, and invited the people she worked with. Among them was a nice looking young man, an apprentice butcher with almost no English. I had no Spanish. Unless someone desperately needed to count to ten or ask where the library was. This sweet young man sat with me, apparently aware that he had been invited specifically to get to know me. I was overweight, but starting to be more active, and shy with strangers. He sat with me in the living room where the stereo played, and I sang along. He liked my singing. When the party ended, the other folks insisted on his giving me a kiss.
What if I had been less shy and had actually gone out on a date or two with the butcher’s boy? I imagine I would have a child or two, maybe, but I also imagine I would have not been as healthy as I should have been and maybe would have died young.
Another possibility is that I would have been divorced from him, and not had the chance to meet my soulmate, whom I married. I would have given up loving someone who could go to see Deadpool with me and grin at me during the love scenes. I would give up having raised my beloved’s son and daughter, which I would not trade for the world, even if that didn’t have a happily ever after ending for all parties. No, nothing that I can imagine would be better than what I have.
What if on a trip across the desert I had been kidnapped by aliens and forced to play Parcheesi? Well, that may have to wait for another day. Or not.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.