Posted by Lisa Marnell
But, now I play ice hockey in (gulp) Southern California????? I joined a women’s team and played last night, but something didn’t seem right (a lot didn’t seem right) at the rink North of Los Angeles last night.
The details of the scene were off, way, way off. Details, of course, make a scene come alive. This rink is a converted bowling alley, first of all. It’s chopped to bits; locker rooms are spread about in three different parts of the rink. One locker room is down along a hallway I walked past three times. Next, leaving the rink last night, sweaty and spent, the first thing I saw was a looming palm tree. The second thing I saw was a restaurant sign across the street that read: Tacos, Enchiladas, and something about a bull. Palm trees and Tacos? Talk about unique details.
What is memorable when we write, when we develop a scene? I know in my own writing and in other author’s writing, scenes fall flat for me when I don’t have a sense of setting. Or worse, when the setting is dull______(yawn). As I write this week, I will think of those details, those differences in my hockey experience that changed the scene and brought it alive in an enchanting way. For fifteen years, I’ve played in rinks in numerous towns in Massachusetts: Falmouth, Hingham, Kingston, Notheastern, Quincy, Rockland, Roxbury, South Boston, But what rink do you think will pop into my head when I’m eighty years old and I have a craving for Mexican food? You guessed it! The Panorama City rink north of LA.
Unique is memorable. Memorable is good writing.
By the way, my hockey team is an awesome, awesome bunch of women; our Captain brought a cooler full of ice cream sandwiches for after the game. Los Angeles ain’t so bad. In fact, go LA Kings (just kidding).