Phoenix Airport Blues

You never know what’s going to start that old writing hunger growling in your belly. Tonight, it’s a two-hour layover in the Phoenix airport. The pilot said it’s 100 degrees outside (at 9:00 p.m.), but in here it’s just stuffy, as if the thick rose-brown air we cut through in our descent into the valley followed us inside. It really doesn’t matter where you are: Phoenix, Philadelphia (my next stop on the round-the-country trip from Portland to Honesdale), or London . . . every airport looks/feels/sounds/smells the same. The word prepackaged comes to mind.

But wait! Something different! Astounding! A guy just rode by on a bicycle. I kid you not! Right down the airport corridor–wearing a helmet, for goodness sakes, as if the carpeted floor wouldn’t cushion a fall. Who is this guy? How can he be riding a bicycle inside an airport concourse? As he zooms past again, I see that he’s some kind of security officer, dressed in black complete with flashlight and walkie-talkie clipped to his belt. Guess he’s on the beat. But what if? What if it hadn’t been a security guard? Who else might ride a bike through an airport? Why?

Maybe each of you will want to explore this question. Each of you might imagine a different person pedaling through the airport, shoulders hunched, hair standing on end. Why is he/she riding? Is he/she pedaling toward something or away from something? What will happen when the authorities catch sight of him/her? Or maybe you’ll think back to the strangest thing you ever saw during an airport layover . . . or maybe you’ll imagine something you didn’t actually see but wish you had. Explore. Play. Write. Let the hunger growl and grow!


About kimgriswell

I'm an author, an editor, a writing coach, and a workshop leader. I spend my days asking questions and looking (or listening) for answers, and thinking up ideas for new stories to write for my favorite audience: kids! I guess I'm just about as curious as Rufus Leroy Williams III, the intrepid pink hero of my picture book series from Sterling Publishing, is persistent. Did you know that in 5000 B.C. people blamed 'tooth worms' for their cavities? Neither did I until I developed THE HAUNTED OUTHOUSE for the Bathroom Reader's Institute. Turns out, ancient dentists filled the wormholes with metals like gold or silver. Except the Aztecs. They used a mix of iron, water, and belly-button lint. As you'll discover by reading RUFUS GOES TO SCHOOL, RUFUS GOES TO SEA, and RUFUS BLASTS OFF! I believe that reading opens up worlds for young people. Books did that for me, and I hope my books will do the same for today's kids.
This entry was posted in Writing Challenge. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Phoenix Airport Blues

  1. Liz says:

    Now -I have to put pen to paper – to let out these different visions/possible short stories[?] of people riding bicycles in airports.

    Thanks for the challenge =)
    I spent 5 hours in the Seattle-Tacoma Airport on Saturday great food court =)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s