I knew as soon as I opened my mouth, something would happen. No writing this morning – well, this blog post, but that’s it. An accident on the expressway turned my 30 minute commute into over an hour commute. Of course I don’t mean to make light of the fact there was an accident. I don’t want any harm to come to anyone, but it’s a little bit of human nature to finally get to the site of the accident, see everyone walking around and seeming to be OK, and being annoyed at the delay.
The problem with living along the coast of South Carolina – as with many coastal areas, I imagine – is the water. I love the water. The ocean is a large part of the reason I moved here. But when you are trying to drive a car somewhere, the water is no longer your friend.
Because of the way Charleston is situated – a peninsula surrounded by water on three sizes – a bridge is necessary to get there. Because the surrounding areas are cut apart by either the Cooper or Ashley rivers and the various marsh areas, bridges are required to get through most of the other communities at some point or another as well. When you put it all together, you get a maze of curvy roads that all must come together at the bridges. Where I’m from in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, if an accident has turned the expressway into a parking lot, you find one of any number of other surface streets that will take you into downtown. That doesn’t work where water and bridges abound. If the expressway is a parking lot, it sucks to be you, because you will have to wait it out. You can get off the expressway, but the only way to get where you are going is to get back on it somewhere further down the line because you have to get on the bridge to cross the river.
So, this morning, I inched along with everyone else for about 10 miles, watching the clock on the dashboard tick away the minutes I could have spent writing. My character’s home just burned down courtesy of the KKK. I have to get back to my keyboard and save her. Or rather, she needs to tell me how she plans on saving herself, because we all know our characters are their own person. You don’t tell them, they tell you. My character is pretty strong, so I know she’ll be OK, but I need to write it. It’s a bit like she is patting me on my head, “It’s OK, Julie. I’ve got this. See? Everything will be just fine.”