Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Gentleman Toweler

by Shirley Bahlmann
A lot of people wonder where authors get their ideas. Here's an example that worked for me.
I was at the LDStorymaker's Conference in Salt Lake City this past weekend. I wound up sitting by a door that author Candace Salima's husband, Alvin, opened to let me in. He saw me tippy-toeing around the corner after trying to get in behind the presenter's screen. (There was an actual door there, but no one opened it for me. They probably thought I was a crazy lady, tapping on the glass, yelling with blue lips, "Let me in!")
But Alvin is big, Alvin is brave, he knows me, and he STILL opened the door!
Alvin gave me one of his big, warm Samoan hugs to thaw me out. I appreciated that the room was warmer, but not by much. After a bit, Alvin got up and left the table. He came back a few minutes later with a white hotel towel. At first, I thought something had spilled. Then he walked over behind me and draped the towel over my shoulders. I looked up in complete surprise. "How did you know I was cold?" I asked.
"Because I'm hardly ever cold, and I thought it felt a bit chilly," he replied. "I tried to get you a blanket, but they didn't have one, so I hope you don't mind the towel."
"No," I said, snuggling into the soft, warm terry cloth shawl. My grandma never had it so good.
Now, how's that for character? Can you see how that event could be worked into a book in so many ways?
Thanks, Alvin, for the inspiration.
And the towel.


Candace E. Salima said...

Shirley - I'm so glad my husband did that for you. He's the best man in the world! Guess that's why I love him so much.

C. L. Beck said...

Alvin is definitely a sweetheart! For that matter, so is his wife, Candace. :)

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