My neighbor was burning his yard last night.

I have no idea why. My desk faces the front door, which has two windows flanking it, so I was able to observe tiny fires popping up all over his yard. It looked like the beacon lighting scene from Return of the King, except in miniature. More than likely he was burning anthills (this is the South – it’s what we do here. Poison is for wimps.) But maybe there’s something more sinister going on. Could be he’s discovered small openings into the depths of hell. The fire I see is coming up from below and he’s trying to keep the demons from breaking through. Or maybe he’s signalling the aliens to begin their invasion. The most interesting part of what he’s doing isn’t what he’s up to, but why. ‘Why’ is the driving force of good stories. The ‘why’ is what drives me to keep turning pages until all the questions are answered. I have ‘why’s in my head all the time.

– Why do zombies want to eat people? They’re dead, so why do they want to eat anything?
– Why do fictional law enforcement officers show up with eleventy-hundred heavily armed people as backup, but always, somehow, end up facing the big bad alone? Where’d all those people go?
– Why do the really good ideas only pop up when I’m in the shower or driving on the interstate alone?
– Why won’t the faeries come out when I’m watching?
– Why does the rising sun always seem to be positioned at just the right spot so my sun visor can’t block it, no matter which way the road is leading me?
– Why can’t I find the end of the rainbow?

Feel free to share your ‘why’s. I can’t guarantee we’ll find any answers, but sometimes the fun is in the asking.


12 comments to Why?

  • Okay this is my biggest sf/fantasy “Why?” and if you’re a fan of the first Star Wars sequence — the Luke Skywalker movies — you might not want to read it. Why, if your big new weapon is a death star that destroys planets, do you have to wait a half an hour for the moon to move out of the way so you can use it on the rebel base? If it destroys planets, can’t it destroy moons, too? Why, George Lucas? Why?!

  • Why do fools fall in love?

    I thought zombies ate people to replenish their rotting flesh… though i’d think the “peel and stick” method would be more effective

  • Oooooh, Misty, I love whys! Hmmm….

    Okay, these are from my childhood:
    Why can’t I breathe underwater? Fish do.
    Why is lonliness so big?
    Why is love so hard?
    I know. sad… But I wrote my first books attempting to answer these questions. And they are still unanswered.

    These are from my current adulthood:
    Why isn’t there gold in the creek behind my house?
    Why does the nephew only nap when I am too sleepy to write?
    Why is chocolate so tempting and so dangerous?
    Why is beer so tasty to me and so icky to the hubby?
    Why isn’t it good aerobic exercise to type?
    Why does coffee smell so good and taste so bitter?
    I mean, why? (grins)I’d never write books about them, (well, part of the Jane Yellowrock backstory came the gold one) but they are good whys.

  • Why do fictional stories have to be logical and make sense while so much in Real Life doesn’t?

    Why is it so hard to get me to sit down and write, but once started, so difficult to peel me away?

    Why, if the Ring of Power in LOTR was sooooo powerful, did it make Frodo only invisible? I mean, the Invisibilty Cloak from Harry Potter was more powerful than that.

  • QUOTE: Why does coffee smell so good and taste so bitter?

    Mine don’t. Then again, I use good beans, grind it myself and brew it right (oh, and cream and sugar…though there are some I’ll drink without). The Guatemalan I’m drinking right now tastes very reminiscent of chocolate with a bit of a smoky finish.

    Why can’t I create my duplicator ray so I can get more done during the day!

    Why can’t I focus on one job/specialty?

    Why can’t I make enough money to afford a maid?

    And just why WAS Freddy always splitting off with Daphne and Velma, leaving Scooby and Shaggy for a couple hours to run into trouble.

    Why does everyone expect me to do things yesterday after contacting me too late?

    Why do I constantly take on too much?

    And David, yep, wondered that one myself, and I AM a fan of the originals. There’s a short on You Tube showing that.

  • Thanks, Daniel, for that You-Tube link. Now, if only I could get the last half-hour back. Funny stuff, but I didn’t have the time to waste today. Arggh!

  • -The LOTR youtube How It Should Have Ended video poses a good one. Why did Frodo and company walk all the way to Mount Doom when the giant eagles could have just bombed the ring in?
    -Why are there so many chase scenes in action movies when nobody ever gets caught? We know they won’t get caught, so why bother? And the chases get longer and longer…
    -Why do people split up in horrors?

  • NewGuyDave,

    Because Sauron had a combat air patrol (CAP) up until things went pear shaped with the destruction of the ring.

    Why do zombies want to eat people? This is explained in Day of the Dead when the scientist experimenting on zombies says that they don’t need to eat human flesh, they’re just under a compulsion to eat human flesh under the incoherent belief it will supply something they lack.

  • Why do I find interesting web sites to read from the hours of 11pm to 2am when I have to get up at 6am? Where do these sites hide during “normal” surfing hours?

    Why is it that everything that is so good for my tastebuds so horrible for my hips?

    And most of all…why do people driving 40mph insist on being in the passing lane…and in front of ME?!

  • B-rad

    Why can’t I bend this spoon with my mind?

  • Because there is no spoon!!!

  • Lily

    Why can’t all the words I’m thinking just end up on the page without me ever touching a writing utensil?
    Why does everything have to cost something?
    Why can’t fantasies come true?
    Why did I have to be born in a cold city when I absolutely LOVE heat?
    Why do girls have to put up with all the really hard stuff in life like hormones and the like?