Writers draw a lot from their own experiences, but occasionally they have to call upon other sources to round out their stories. Lots of writers rely on the Internet, interviews and what they’ve gleaned by their own reading. But ultimately, what brings life to a story is reality.
Real life experience.
Well, yesterday I had a head on meeting with reality. It started off innocently enough. DH’s friends, many of them retired Army, Marine or Special Ops have been visiting the Casa since he’s come home to recuperate from his hip surgery. I hosted a BYO Appetizer and cocktail night (because hey, I’m not a martyr–I don’t need to prove I’m the hostess with the mostess when I am also the cursed nurse) on Friday night. One of the guests, retired Army, got very excited when I said I was trying to learn about guns. My heroine is learning to defend herself.
Hoorah! He had the best solution for me to learn all about it. I’d already held a gun and played with it thanks to a writing buddy with one of her own. But to go shooting? On private property? Woohoo. Me and a gun? Scary thought. But I was game.
On Sunday we received fun instructions to our friend’s house, an invite for burgers and drinks, too, and off we went: me, DD and DH. We arrived and our friend was giddy with excitement. After all, he got to empower more women. He had a target set up, four different guns on a table, tons of ammo and all the protective gear.
First lesson? How to hold the guns. Second lesson? How to shoot the different guns at the target. Darling Daughter’s Texan genes came through with the .22 pistol. Frankly, I was amazed at her steady hand. Then I was up. Oh, the .22 has a magazine and a safety and a sliding mechanism. Oh crap. My heroine in a stressful situation could seriously jam the damn thing. Oh, and another thing? Sighting the target? Not easy without a handy dandy laser beam.
.22 won’t work well for my book. But when I got to the regular Revolver, Smith & Wesson with the laser grip? I was on fire. Cocked the hammer, performed BRAS (breath, relax, aim and shoot) and made a good showing. And our instructor, retired Army, was so fun. And honest. And when he said, a guy is coming after your daughter, incapacitate him, well… it was easy to shoot the target.
Lots of other vernacular. Lots of neat lessons. Cool beans! I had fun. I learned that when I set the revolver down and said, “I like this one,” I’d use it in my book. And I decided to take my heroine outside to learn how to shoot with her hero. And who knows? Maybe a flamboyant retired Army dude will lead the way on his property.
And most interesting sidebar? He’s a HUGE romance novel reader. Now doesn’t that beat all?