Early on in the life of this blog, I wrote a whole post about Costco plots versus boutique plots. The Costco plot is my term for the “everything but the kitchen sink” type of story, where you’ve got everything from teeth-gnashing villains to weird science to damsels in distress. The problem is keeping it all running smoothly and having it make sense, and (for me anyway) it’s all too easy to get lost on tangents.
So anyway, I’m a lawyer by trade (bear with me–this will make sense in a moment). Usually my work keeps me in my office, but the other night I went to court in Queens to handle a matter. For those who don’t know Queens, it’s big. It’s sprawling. And the street signs don’t always make sense. The numbers skip and go back, and even when you’re on a well-known avenue or boulevard you may suddenly find yourself at a dead-end or going the wrong way down a one-way street (but that’s another story).
So anyway, I made it there okay, thanks to Mapquest. But when I was leaving, I made a wrong turn. A turn that cost me an extra hour in commute time going home.
But in that hour, I saw a lot of things. A bunch of kids playing baseball in an empty lot between two buildings (the girl had a mean swing, by the way). When I stopped at a gas station on Queens Boulevard to ask for directions, I met a couple visiting from France. They didn’t speak much English and I don’t speak any French, but I found myself showing them the correct currencies to pay for their gas. I found a strip of row houses between two major sprawling avenues, the houses looking like something from an earlier time.
So what’s the point of all this? Just to say that sometimes getting lost–whether it’s in your plot, or in your real life–can have some really cool results. It’s not always worth getting home on time.