Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I May Be Watching . . . or Listening

Yesterday I had a call from Dene who is doing publicity for the upcoming (May 9) Blue Ridge Book and Author Showcase. She's doing a piece about three local authors and wanted my quotable thoughts on her theme: the simple fact that writers tend to pay attention to their surroundings . . . and may use what they observe.

Or, Watch out -- I might put you in my book.

The fact is, you're pretty safe if, like the folks below, you're in the audience when I'm speaking. I don't have time to note your quirks and idiosyncrasies; I'm too busy trying to keep my own under control.

But if I'm sitting in a waiting room somewhere or if I'm in a restaurant or pretty much any place where I have time on my hands, yes indeed, my ears are tuned in for interesting conversations. And I do carry a little notebook with me.

Here's a goody from a friend of mine -- as yet unused.

" . . . most of the animal rehab people burn out -- I mean, how many possums does the world need? And you spend weeks raising them, feeding them every few hours, keeping their cages clean, and then you release them and they scuttle off and hurl themselves under a car . . ."

I love this -- just haven't found a spot for it yet.

I like taking pictures too -- these are from downtown Asheville and it's not inconceivable that they'll figure in a scene someday.
Posted by Picasa


Tammy said...

I really wish I would have kept a notebook over the years of my 'working' life. It's amazing the everyday humor and drama and sheer stupidity that comes out of people forced to become 'work family'. :-) Thanks for the fun post. (I love the 'possum story...)

Pat in east TN said...

I got a kick out of this post also, and the pictures ... yes, 'people do say the darnest things' sometimes!

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I wrote a family history play, produced it and then invited the family members to watch. None of them recognized themselves but they all recognized each other. And the kicker? One character was described as a woman who couldn't make grits. I made this up to make her a little more human. But a cousin got mad because she thought I was making fun of her mother...who couldn't make grits.

They didn't tell me any more family stories after that but it was too late.

But I really didn't know about Great-Aunt Irene and her grits problem. Honest!

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, my! There are so many things I've overheard -- usually from strangers -- that do end up in my books.

And as Byron said, for the most part, people never recognize themselves -- not that I write about my friends -- except for Sallie Kate who speaks in the voice of my friend Kathy -- who is the origin of the possum quote.