School finally ended here yesterday. We have this weekend of very few plans before all the activities of summer kick in full-force on Monday. One of the grand events happening next week is my oldest daughter is taking her driver's test (all prayers, good vibes, happy thoughts, fairy dust, whatever you got are appreciated!)
In honor of that I decided to see what stories I could find to drive our brainstorming this week. Hahaha, I am so witty. Forgive me, it's already over a hundred degrees here. My brain is boiling.
First, I found this!
Excuse me a minute:
I can't describe how quickly I would die in this situation. Here's what's stunning about the article. The woman was on her lunch break, snake comes crawling out of the vent while she's driving, she manages to pull over and call 911. They send an animal control dude who admits to being scared of snakes! Then HE DOESN'T GET IT OUT OF THE CAR! It slithers under the seat and they can't find it. She has to get back to work so SHE DRIVES THE CAR—KNOWING THERE IS A SNAKE UNDER THE SEAT!
Props to this woman for being more brave than I could ever aspire to be.
This took my mind in so many directions. First, a comedy about a character who is terrified of wildlife but ends up working for animal control. Then, I thought about the snake. What if it was put there by someone hoping to cause an accident? What if this woman regularly drove through some kind of treacherous terrain and someone wants to make her go off a cliff? Trust me, that would have worked for me! Finally, where is this woman working that she can't be a few minutes late from lunch because a freaking SNAKE is in her car? What kind of supervisor must she have that she'd rather drive the car with a serpent under the seat than miss then 1:30 meeting?
Then I came across this story.
Part of my daughter's driver's ed required watching a two-hour video on distracted driving. No texting, tweeting, posting selfies, etc. while behind the wheel. Basically, nothing this dude did while driving an armored personnel carrier down the highway for sixty miles with the while police chasing him.
What could you do with this? Clearly, you've got the dude who took the vehicle, but what about the people seeing the tweets? What if the woman who still loved him sees it and knows that he has been involuntary drugged? What about the police involved in the pursuit? Or the people he passed on the road? If you were writing a recovering-from-addiction story, this could be someone describing how they hit rock bottom.
The whole idea of self-driving cars freaks me out. I know thousands of human drivers make mistakes that cause accidents every day. I get that. I also read a story by Stephen King titled Trucks which inspired the movie Maximum Overdrive (terrible movie. Don't watch it.) which taught me that self-driving cars is the beginning of the end civilization as we know it.
Other than the obvious weirdness, self-driving cars open a world of possibilities. As a mystery writer, my thoughts immediately go to, "How does the car know the passenger is alive?" What if someone summoned one of these services and dumped a dead body in the back seat? What if they killed someone while they were riding down the road, then simply got out at the first stop sign and let the car continue to its destination? I'm assuming these things have interior cameras, but I bet there are ways around that. Probably shouldn't google it, though.
So that is what I have for you this week.
Got any plots driving you crazy?