Wednesday, March 10, 2010


© Marta Stephens 2010 all rights reserved

I trust I’ll wake up and the world will be as it was when I placed my head on the pillow the night before and closed my eyes. I trust that in the morning, my family and friends will be safe and no egomaniac has blown us out of the solar system as we slept. I trust my car will start on the first try and when I get to work, everything will be were I left it. I trust that when I go to the bank, my balance hasn’t changed without my authority. I trust that when I use my insurance card, it will offset the debt. I trust the next time I drive to the store, I won’t be shoved off the road. I trust that when I stop to give someone the time, I won’t get mug. Ridiculous? Sure some or all of these things could happen at any time, but they are not in the forefront of my thoughts when I open my eyes.

Insignificant as some of these things may seem, knowing that there are unequivocal certainties in life gives me peace of mind and a sense of balance. I don’t need to look over my shoulder for the next incoming blow.

Trust is a fragile, invisible bond that we can’t touch, smell, or taste. In fact, we tend to forget about it until something or someone comes along and shatters it. When that happens, it creates baggage that we drag from one relationship to the next. This is the case for the main character in my WIP. The story takes place in the early sixties and for a woman PI, life is filled with a sundry list of challenges. From her over-bearing mother to an incident while on the Chicago police force a few years before, betrayal has overshadowed her life. Now when she’s hired to follow her client’s daughter she is confronted with deception again from an unlikely source. In her line of work, she’s used to the lies and egos, but when those lies threaten her life, the rules change and she unleashes her own sense of judgment.

As a writer, my challenge has been to depict her struggle and thus I have to ask myself the various what ifs. What if I actually did have to worry about all those things I mentioned in the opening paragraph? What’s it like to feel abandonment, betrayed, rejected, by someone I trust? Would my character walk away from a fight or confront her aggressor? Sometimes I have to dig deep inside to understand/feel those emotions. At other times, it’s staring me square in the eyes.


Kim Smith said...

That's the sort of stuff that makes a good writer. :)

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Nicely said, Marta. And I trust that you'll have more Rhonie Lude for me to read, soon! :0) Write fast!

s.w. vaughn said...

I love the what if's. They're what make writing fun! *G*