“What if?” — The True Story of the “What If” Game

Politano0387THE STORY:

I have this awesome brainstorming partner. Since I usually get blank stares from hubby on brainstorming plots that don’t exist yet, I turn to this fantastic individual, who is also a writer himself.

Yep, that would be my dad.

I have a plot-write-plot-write-plot system going, so I’m constantly needing to plot the next section, or brainstorm my way out of a black hole. I get frustrated, stare at the same line of text for many minutes, hate my book, then pick up the phone. “Daaaaaad! I’m stuck!” So I fill him in on the plot, and then he says those two magic words:

what if.

What if this woman had a history with this other guy in the plot? What if that person wasn’t the real mother? What if that person just looked like the bad guy? And suddenly the spark is lit and I’m on a roll. Till the next time I hate my book. (Happens all the time, just ask Vince.)


I’ve written something about this before, but it bears repeating because it still blows my mind. The twist to this story goes back many years. My father, as many of you know by how I brag about him, is an awesome guy. He’s never said no to helping me, he’s never too good for any sort of work that needs to be done, and he drops everything when I visit. When I was a three-year-old following him around, he loved it. He included me in everything he did. He made up stories (sensing a family pattern?), taught me songs and Scripture, and held theological and philosophical discussions with me.

But the real twist goes back many more years—before I was even born. My dad never had a dad like this. His dad wasn’t the type. He was downright hermitish, hardly spending time with a soul. But somehow, my dad would give any amount of time to his kids that was asked of him. He’d carve out time, plan around them, drop whatever else was going on—cause nothing was ever more important to him. How cool is that?? Where does this fit on the nature vs. nurture argument? My dad came from a line of men who weren’t known for spending time with their families, and somehow, my dad ended up having the right priorities. On our thanksgiving road trip, I came to him with a plot problem and he had it solved in minutes. And last week, when I hated my book, I called him and talked him through it. After a few hours, he had my head spinning with possibilities, plot nuances, and twists that made me grin.

I could name so many traits about him that are cool. He’s intelligent, humble, hard working, caring, generous, and into his Bible. But my favorite is that he never tires of helping his little girl.

Love that guy. And you won’t find a better father anywhere around, believe me.

Note: All the awesome pictures on this page are all the artwork of my brother– robb-davidson.com



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