Danger in the Moment?

Sometimes even the most mundane, ill-composed snaps can offer story opportunities. I took this one Christmas while my Dad, Ed Tuttle, was still alive. I don’t remember what he and my cousin Dennis Sullivan were looking at, but my imagination has been supplying all sorts of suggestions.

I think it’s the expressions on the faces that intrigue me so much here. Dad (Ed) looks a bit puzzled and quite sobered by what he is holding. Dennis, on the other hand, has a slight smirk on his face, as though he is privy to a joke only he knows. What could it be? What is Ed holding? Why is it important to either of them?

If you look closer, you can see that Dennis’ expression really is quite enigmatic. Is he really trying to hold back a smirk, or is he on the verge of weeping? Has Dennis given the object to Ed, or is Ed holding it up for Dennis to see? To whom does or did it belong? What is its purpose?

What could evoke such rich emotion in both Ed and Dennis? Does it hold danger for them, or for someone they love? Or is it a mememto from someone they have lost? Or simply a leftover part from a you-built-it Christmas purchase?

Where will this picture take you?

Susan Tuttle

Comments? Your ideas from this snapshot…


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This delightful, classic cozy mystery is well written and superbly plotted. An engrossing read that will keep you guessing right up to the end. One of the best mysteries I’ve read in a long time, with wonderful lead characters that I hope will reappear again and again. Kudos to Anne R. Allen’s 91-year-old mother, Shirley S. Allen, for doing it right.

About Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle is a professional freelance editor, writing instructor and multi-award winning author of 21 books—6 nonfiction on writing (Write It Right), 6 suspense novels and 7 collections of award-winning short stories. She also has stories in both volumes of "Deadlines", the new anthology from the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Tales from a Rocky Coast, and the SLO NightWriter anthology. Under the pen name Susan Grace O'Neill, she is the author of the Journey With Jesus series: Lord, Let Me Grow (Parables) vol. 1, and Lord, Let Me Walk (Lent). She is currently working on volume #2 of her Skylark P.I. series (a PI with paranormal abilities), as well as 2 YA fantasy series. And she teaches fiction writing in both the morning and afternoon every Wednesday. Email her if you're interested in joining her class. And follow her on Twitter and FaceBook.