Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cause & Effect

At first, a faint pang taps under my ribcage--the place where my heart should be. My pulse picks up speed, but I ignore it, the mumbling over the phone luring more of my attention and my husband's facial expressions drooping. My chest tightens, the pang now twisting, piercing with each shallow breath. I glance out the window, the summer sky hopeful and bright, and in total opposition of the dread infecting my soul.

Fear, doubt, worry consume the air around me. There's no way out--a black hole. I'm sinking, drowning amidst the muffled words I just heard. My husband drops his cell phone. The car suddenly slows, and he heads towards an off-ramp. Despite the cool from the air conditioner brushing against my face, the ends of my long hair frizz from the extra heat I'm suddenly giving off. I fiddle with my fingers. My brain is a machine, calculating all possibilities from the mundane to the horrific.

My husband glances at me, our connective stare blank yet brimming with panic. My brain hurts, my eyes now glassing over. So are his. He grips my hand as the car whizzes on the road. I stutter an inhale, words pouring from my mouth with no direction or sense. We tell each other to relax, stay calm. But the rot in my gut won't stop, the gnawing too strong. I want to curl into a ball and hide, pray, beg "Please, oh good God please..."

There are no words feared more by a parent than "Your child has been in a car accident." The above is an observation of Cause and Effect and how one might use it in writing. Something obviously happened to Cause these reactions and the Effect is surely to be revealed in the text soon.

But this is also a true story. My story. On Sunday--Father's Day. As my husband and I drove our 12-yr-old daughter to her soccer tournament an hour away, we received a phone call that our two sons--Josh (17) & Jake (14)--were in a car accident. It was not Josh's fault. He had his blinker on and the boys were wearing their seat belts. Apparently, a driver two cars behind Josh decided to pass on a straight-away at approximately 50 MPH just as Josh was turning left into the ice rink parking lot for a hockey game. The impact spun the car in the opposite direction and straight back into the rink sign. The straight back part is most befuddling. It makes no sense that the force didn't keep them spinning or toss them into a roll.

Josh's car is a total loss. It's a miracle neither boy was hurt severely or worse....2 more feet to the left or if Josh had turned a moment later, the impact would have been on his driver's side door.

My brain is still that muddled mess I wrote about above, examining the what if's and the how come's of Cause & Effect.


How do you deal with Cause and Effect in your writing? 

28 comments:

  1. Hi Sheri,

    I'm so sorry about your boys! That's devastating to go through -- my kids were each in (separate) accidents in January. Glad the boys are okay! And btw, I need to know what face cream you use. Seriously, there is no way you are old enough to have a 17-year-old!

    Hugs,

    Martina

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, Sheri, I'm so glad your boys are okay. I worry about my little guys every time they're not with me, and I try to channel some of that emotion into my writing.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh dear God, honey. The ache and fear you felt! :( I'm glad the boys are okay.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, my heart beats faster and faster as I read this! So glad the boys are okay. This too is my biggest fear. Every parents fear. I hope and pray I never never get that phone call.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am so so glad you boys are okay! That must have been terrifying! ***HUGS***

    ReplyDelete
  6. Quite a hair-raising story! Glad your sons were okay. Yes, building drama in a novel is all about cause and effect and action, reaction!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. So glad your boys are okay! You had my pulse racing too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Forget about how I deal with cause and effect in my writing! I'm so glad your boys are okay! I can't even imagine how you felt. (Even though you wrote it very nicely, I'm sure you were a wreck. I know I would've been.)

    ReplyDelete
  9. so scary! Glad the boys are alright. That is a phone call no mother wants to recieve. I was feeling the emotions right there along with you during your description!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your poor boys! That has to be scary for a teen to go through. I'm so glad they're okay!

    ReplyDelete
  11. omg I am sooo glad your boys are ok! I hope that driver gets a big fat fine.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm so sorry to hear that! Happy your kids are okay, though! I feel your loss, vehicle-wise. It's a nice car ;)
    On a positive note, I'm wowed by your writing :D

    ReplyDelete
  13. My mother died in a car accident- it was her fault- but still- I can relate to how this would feel. terrific post.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank God they're okay! That must have been extremely scary. I'm always big on actions and reactions when I write.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank God neither was hurt! Now you know that when you're not there, your boys are wearing their seatbelts and driving in a safe manner. And that someone will always be watching over them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm so glad your sons are okay! How scary. Thankfully it's over.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh no! I'm so glad your boys weren't badly hurt! My heart was pounding with each paragraph and then to find out it really happened! This is a great example of cause and effect. You had me right there with you experiences it. So glad they're safe!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Glad your boys are okay. That's terrible news for any day, especially Father's Day.

    ReplyDelete
  19. So glad to hear you're boys are okay. I can't imagine how terrified you and your husband must have been. ((((HUGS)))

    ReplyDelete
  20. On my goodness, Sheri. I'm so thankful your boys are okay. That is scary. Something similar happened to us once. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  21. God or his angels were watching over them, Sheri.

    Thankfully you boys are safe.... Calm down and breathe again, they're safe now.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh my word! I'm glad that they came out of it alright.

    I play with cause and effect in different ways. Sometimes it's better to show the cause first. Other times it's great to create tension by showing the effect and keeping the reader waiting to understand the cause.

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I bet you were in knots over this. How terrible. I couldn't imagine. Wow. My daughter wrecked her blazer in the snow over the winter and ended up in a corn field. The way the truck hit, it was amazing that the tires did not catch and flip it. Tires were ripped off the rims from the sideways impact her truck made when it jumped off the road and hopped sideways through the field. Scary.

    I'm so glad that they are okay. Angels are watching over them!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a relief they weren't hurt and amazing howi it worked out when it should have been much worse! But that drive - before the two of you knew how bad it was - it makes me shiver! Without ever (yet) experiencing that feeling, I can certainly imagine it very well!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow, that is so frightening! They must have had angels watching over them, which I think as mothers we all depend on for the safety of our children. So glad they are all right!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh my gosh, so glad to hear the boys are okay!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm so glad to hear your boys are okay. You're right - those are some of the most feared words a parent can hear. I actually had my hand over my mouth as I read the beginning scene with your husband getting that phone call - you certainly grabbed my attention! I was just so glad to hear at the end that they were okay.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow, you nailed the emotion in those paragraphs.
    I'm so glad that your boys are okay!
    I'm a worrywart when it comes to my kiddos.
    And my oldest son is named Josh, too (youngest son is Jack!).

    ReplyDelete

!SPLAT Your Awesomeness! I love to hear from you!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

MY STATS