How is the hardest question. Not who, not what, not when, not where. Why can be difficult too, but I still think it's how. When a writer puts pen to paper or begins tapping a keyboard, there's usually a nugget of an idea. There's a character, and the character is someplace. That's two questions down. The character wants something; what the character wants is what plot springs from. The why evolves as the words flow, but how can throw a wrench in the machinery. How do we go from idea to reality? It's too easy to write yourself into a corner, with no way out except go back to try the road not taken. Too often those wrong steps are repeated over and over and over in an effort to get it right. Sometimes, it's hard just trying to figure out how to begin. Like the prompt that led to this poem, contrived, though it may be, to use “How (blank)” as the title and go from there. Seriously? There are endless possibilities for that blank. Ask anyone who's spent time with an inquisitive four-year-old. How—and okay, why-- can reach to infinity. The frustration can lead to screaming, hair-pulling, or an inspired trip to get an ice cream as a distraction. Answering the how in writing often has the same result. You can trust me on that one. I'm tired of struggling with how. I think I'll take the easy route and think about where. Dairy Queen, anyone?
~Elise Skidmore ©2023