Lima Beans with Legs

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By Laura J. Marshall

Recently a friend private messaged me a picture on Facebook. It was of a double layer cake decorated with webs and spiders. I quickly tapped her out a message, typing one word at a time with a return in between to get the photo off my screen.

 

The

only

thing

worse

than

a spider

is a

Lima bean

 

I thought for a moment and then continued typing…still seeing a spider on my screen:

 

Or

maybe

a

Lima bean

with legs

 

You see, one night when I was very small we had lima beans for dinner. We also had a black scotty dog we were watching for my grandparents. After dinner, I was walking across the kitchen and noticed I had stepped on something. Picking up my foot, I plucked the offending object from the underside. Ah-ha, a lima bean! Upon further inspection, however, I noticed the lima bean had legs! It was an engorged tick!

 

Thus began my hate of lima beans, ticks, and lima beans with legs. Eww, right? Soooo gross!

 

So why am I telling you my lima bean story? Well, I’m trying to show a way I have learned to bring my readers into my stories on a deeper level. There are things in my life or yours that are nostalgic. We all have a lima bean or spider story, don’t we? Or maybe a cold Coca-cola (or Pepsi) with ice on a hot summer’s day memory?

 

Let me take you inside a fun scene from Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken: Volume I, Summer.faith

 

“Now, I just had the idea of makin’ a nice picnic meal and then realized, I don’t know what to do with them.” His chin lifted. “The birds.”

She giggled then. “And I’m your rescue?”

“That’s the plan. Rescue us both from a trip to County Hospital.”

This made her laugh harder and she wiped tears from her eyes.

“Must we do this at eight am?”

“Picnics in a few hours’ time.”

Jaycee moved to the sink and washed her hands. “Cutting board?”

He grinned his thanks and went to remove it from a cupboard.

“I need a fresh plate and a sharp knife too…please.”

He went to work getting her everything she required and stood near the counter, waiting for his next order and trying to avoid the sight of those birds. He could still remember the cold, wet, bony feel against his hands. A shiver ran up his spine.

“Afraid of a little raw meat?” She chided him, quickly working with the sharp knife and creating the familiar pieces he had grown up eating: Breast, wing, drumstick.

“No, I just never realized chickens were so….gross.” He laughed at his own words and went over to the coffeepot. “You want a cup?”

“Sure. You have any flavored creamer?”

“No,” he said, but suddenly had an idea. “I have amaretto and chocolate syrup. Let me make you a frou-frou coffee.”

 

Do you see anything in there that feels relatable? Maybe the remembrance of handling a slimy chicken or a hot cup of flavored coffee the first time the smell hits your nose.

 

Layer your story with memories, they don’t have to be your own. Look longer at a certain scene for a moment. Can you add a description that will resonate with your readers and their five senses?

 

Sight.

Sound.

Smell.

Taste.

Touch.

 

It doesn’t have to be something that they have experienced to pull them into the scene. It can be something they want to experience….or don’t want to for that matter.

 

That’s the fun of reading….and writing!

 

 

 

lauraLaura J. Marshall is a full-time mom of five boys. When not on active duty, she is the best-selling author of The Battle Cry Devotional series and inspirational fiction (historical romantic suspense, YA, and contemporary romance). She operates a popular blog called The Old Stone Wall which hosts and promotes Christian and clean books and encourages interaction between authors and readers. Visit Laura on Facebook or Twitter or visit her website at http://www.LauraJMarshall.com

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