Have you ever heard the expression “hot pen?” This is when you have to write about a random topic for a certain amount of time to see what creative story you can come up with. We do “hot pens” in the Torrevieja Writers’ Circle the last Wednesday of every month and occasionally other times as well. Whenever we have a “hot pen” exercise I start out feeling anxious, as I imagine others do as well. But usually an idea develops and off I go, writing a story without thinking too much about what is going to come out.
Recently, we did a hot pen with the words “wire clothes hanger” and “baseball cap.” We were given ten minutes to write something. My initial reaction to these words was that I would never be able to do a story that involved these two things! But, lo and behold, when I let my hot pen move and just write without worrying I was able to come up with the following very short story.
My buddy Boris and me were looking to steal a car to get out of the city one hot summer day. So we left my place wearing our Chicago Cubs blue baseball caps with red Cs. We were big Cub fans even though most of the time they never even made the playoffs.
We brought along a wire clothes hanger to help us open the door of the car we wanted to steal. Boris wanted to steal a red Ford Mustang convertible. But I said that was way too flashy a car and would be noticed by the cops. I wanted to steal a Black Lincoln Town Car we came across. But Boris said that kind of car was for old people.
We never did agree on what car we would steal. Fortunately, that didn’t matter because we were both 12 years old and we couldn’t drive anyway, let alone hotwire a car!
The story was a hit and I decided to share it on my blog to encourage other writers who think they can’t do something when sometimes it is just a lack of self-confidence that gets in the way.
Think: Yes I can! Not, No I can’t. I also learned in the writers group that some of the best stories shared by others involve a surprise ending so that’s what I decided to do in this hot pen story.