The Writer’s Eye, Plumbers and Girls Who Can’t Pee Standing Up

So, what on earth do plumbers and urination have to do with writing? Everything! But I’ll get to that in a minute…

Since taking my writing seriously, I’ve discovered that I’ve started to see the world a little differently. Stories I hear and things I experience are no longer random everyday occurrences, but rather I find myself thinking about how I can weave it into a book. My writer’s eye can finally see.

So, plumbers and urination…

Let me take you back three years, to the time before I was writing. My husband had dropped into the supermarket and had our four-year-old daughter with him. While they were standing in the checkout line, he thought he would take the opportunity to teach her a valuable life lesson that every parent wants their child to learn.

“You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up. You could be a doctor or a plumber or a teacher…”

This obviously sounded ludicrous to her four-year-old mind. “A plumber? Girls can’t be plumbers!”

At this point, the woman standing in front of them turned around. “I’m a plumber.”

My husband reiterated his point to our daughter. “See, girls can do whatever boys can do.”

But she knew that wasn’t true. “Nah, girls can’t pee standing up!”

When my husband came home and regaled the story, I exclaimed “Oh my God, she was a plumber?” and laughed at the punch line, thinking how cute and clever our kid was. And that was that.

Fast forward three years, to around the time when I had just finished the first draft of my first novel, and for some reason the story was retold. My response this time was something along the lines of “Wow, I’d forgotten about that. It sounds like something from a movie…or a book! Arrggh! I have to use that in a book. Oh my goodness! I know just the story I’ll put it in!”

I had just discovered my writer’s eye.

Shortly after this discovery, I attended a wedding where, unfortunately (or maybe not), I remained sober. Holy cow, the stories that come out at a wedding from the mouths of the intoxicated! From teary exhausted mothers of newborns, to rekindled love, to answered prayers for the perfect partner, stories abounded. I only wish I had taken my notebook.

Most recently, I was hanging washing in my backyard, when my seven-year-old daughter raced out of the house. “Mum! I just saw a policeman go across our front yard!”

Knowing that she must have seen him through the front window and thinking that maybe he was coming to the front door for some reason, I said, “Well, where is he now?”

Then, hello! Gorgeous officer in my backyard! He’d jumped the fence looking for a possible fence-jumping suspect. He identified himself and asked for permission to search the backyard then went on his way. Ushering my daughter back inside, I cursed my bed hair and track suit pants. Oh, hang on…I’d forgotten about the wedding ring. 😉

I’m still considering how I’ll weave this one into my next book.

If you’ve ever used a real-life crazy experience in one of your own books, tell us about it in the comments below and feel free to leave a buy link to the book.

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