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Friday, February 4, 2011

Everyday Mysteries

Have you ever thought about the mysteries in your everyday life? We all have some mysteries and I think we suspense authors should be better at solving them than your average Joe.

Being the mother of a teenage daughter, my life is filled with mysteries. Like what happened to half my teaspoons and where did that green spot on the bathroom rug come from?

As I build suspense plots in my book, I find myself becoming more adept at figuring out our household who-done-its. My husband was amazed a few months ago when I tracked a missing bag of candy the day before Halloween. Despite her numerous denials, my daughter was guilty of pilfering said candy and eating it with two of her friends—the usual suspects.

I knew she’d hide the evidence well because she probably had an inkling I’d check out her room the first chance I got. My strategy? Get into her head, think like a teenager. She wouldn’t be foolish enough to leave candy wrappers in her trashcan—way too easy. If I were in her shoes, I’d leave the evidence where I could easily take it out of the house at my first opportunity. This led me to her school backpack. Voila!

When constructing the suspense plot for a book, I’d have to be much more stealthy than she. But frankly, I’m relieved she didn’t outthink me.

Now, if I could only figure out whose peanut butter fingerprints those are on the cabinet door and who left the bathroom without replacing the toilet paper roll. And who hit my mailbox and knocked it over? Give me time and I will.

What everyday mysteries drive you crazy?

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Rebecca Rogers Maher said...

I love that brief flicker of relief that crosses a kid's face when they've been caught in a lie. They hate being caught, but getting away with it is scarier in its way. You're a good mom! This post made me think about how motherhood fosters good detective skills. Like you said, you learn to get inside people's heads and think like they think.

MaureenAMiller said...

If you figure out who the toilet paper bandit is, kindly post it here. I believe there may be a rogue band of toilet-paper takers roaming the eastern half of the country. All of you on the west side, beware, they are migrating!

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Rebecca. I suppose motherhood does help in the detecting skills department.

Maureen - that is one busy bandit!

Toni Anderson said...

I like to think I know when my kids are lying. I'm pretty good at ferreting out the truth, but I'm not looking forward to them being teens :) I think I might get conned more often than not :)

Elise Warner said...

Wynter: I think you can expand on the peanut butter. There must be a book in there.

Wynter Daniels said...

Toni - they get very good at when they become teens. Keep your radar well-honed!

Elise - Probably true. I could start with a wife killing her husband by shoving a peanut butter jar down his throat;-) JK

Katie Reus said...

Love your post! Since it's just my husband and me living in the house I know who leaves the toilet paper roll empty w/out replacing it or who leaves crumbs all over the counter...even though he always tries to deny it :)

Stevie Carroll said...

Not quite so everyday, but Dad is so far stumped by a mystery in his family history research. He's traced the point at which his ancestors moved from one part of the country (working for a member of the aristocracy) to living in a house several counties away (belonging to their former employer). What he can't figure out is why they moved, or how they came to be running a successful haulage business only a few years later. Based on what else we know about them, I keep claiming taht they stole the business, but I suspect the truth will turn out to be even stranger.

Wynter Daniels said...

Katie - That would definitely making the sleuthing easy! Keep those skills sharp, though. Won't be long now;-)

Stevie - family history mysteries can be fun! Sounds like there could be a skeleton or two in that closet!

Marcelle Dubé said...

When I was growing up, it was always the cat who did it... whatever "it" was.

Wynter Daniels said...

We often blame things on one of our cats, too. Nice to have a live-in scapegoat, huh?

KC Burn said...

That's pretty funny. I remember when I was 16, I snuck out of the house a couple of times, then I came home one night to find my escape route locked up tight. Guess I wasn't fooling my parents as much as I thought :)

Wynter Daniels said...

LOL! My sister had a similar experience.

Clare London said...

Wow, if your skills help you out-think your kids, you're a better detective-mum than I am LOL.

I loved watching my sons move from naivety - thinking I'd never been there myself, never told the same kind of white lies LOL - to a more adult sophistication. Nowadays I have to be more alert :).

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