I’ve worked with obstacles all of my life. Some were difficult. Some were impossible. Others brought the best in me.

Twenty-five plus years ago I signed up for a writing class. The class cost $35 and because there were so many of us we each had only two opportunities read. Unfortunately, we scheduled them on signup night. My first read was ten days, on a Thursday night at eight o’clock.p

I spent ten days kicking the can down the road, as it were. Thursday was stuck in heavy traffic when I realized the bewitching hour had arrived. The pressure was on. Mentally, I roughed a character on the spot while stuck in traffic.

My character, Zeke, was a renegade mechanic-pilot employed with a crop-dusting firm. Because a company aircraft had suffered engine failure some 300 miles north of the hanger Zeke had to gather some tools and race to the site, fix the airplane, and get it aloft before the farmer’s attorney arrived.

The story became interesting when Zeke had to land in a small town along the way and taxi up Main Street to buy fuel.

Long story short, it created a spark. I enhanced Zeke and his rough personality and before the year was out I was associate editor at Ag-pilot, a position I maintained for more than a year.