The Engineer and I spent the weekend at the Piston Power Show in Cleveland. Their slogan is “If a piston makes it go, it’s in the show.”
Unsurprisingly, most of the vehicles on display were cars, but there was also an assortment of trucks and motorcycles, as well as a few trailers (my new must-have for retirement years travel) and bicycles (with no discernible pistons).
But it was really a car show, attended primarily by car aficionados.
Being a part of it was like living in someone else’s world for a weekend — a fun experience, but I wouldn’t want to stay there.
The time I spent skirting the edge of this foreign (to me) culture reinforced my long-held belief that we all live in our own world.
Think about it.
Haven’t you ever known someone — perhaps not well, but well enough to consider them a friend — and then discovered something about them that you’d never have predicted.
Maybe they sing opera or act in amateur theatrical productions, play hockey or soccer or run marathons, build airplanes or restore cars. The possibilities are endless. In fact, I’ve mentioned only those I’ve encountered through my own friends.
The point is, although our worlds may overlap like a series of endlessly intersecting venn diagrams, we each live in our own.
Fortunately, most people are generous about sharing their world, at least on a temporary basis. That’s why The Engineer and I spent thirty hours introducing four hundred area children to aviation.
And writers are lucky. We have a built-in excuse to explore any world we take a fancy to. Then we can use this inside knowledge” in our characters, making them interesting and unique.
If we’re smart, we’ll take advantage, and our stories will be the richer for it.
What do you think? What kind of “worlds” have you encountered through your friends or your writing career? Leave a comment and tell us.