Saturday, April 28, 2012
Unlike one of my more prolific colleagues (Writer 1 to be specific), I have no problem setting aside the computer, kicking back and seeking out tranquil, serene, soul energizing activities such as a recent lengthy visit to a luxurious spa, complete with massages, purifying bath rituals, heated infinity pools and...eavesdropping. Yes, I admit it, I'm an avid eavesdropper. Not a malicious one, mind you, the likes of which might mirror Mrs. O'Brien of Downton Abbey fame, but a purist. One who practices this form of observation merely as a means to artistic enhancement. More specifically, eavesdropping provides great fodder for writing. So, I say to my lovable Writer 1 that I AM actually working on my novel - I call it research. You see, Writer 1 keeps me on my toes, doesn't allow me to get lazy, and when I'm finally feeling guilty enough, I'll actually satisfy her basic requirement of completing a minimum of 250 words/day. But, as they say, I digress - back to eavesdropping. Oh the pleasure of listening to other people as I lounge in the scented hot tubs or feign napping while awaiting the massage therapist's call in the meditation room. From self-righteous political arguments to the preferred color of a manicure, bragging of the Iron Man participant as he prepares his body in the ice bath, the chubby couple discussing the merits of their latest weight-loss regimen, and the tsk..tsk of the avid reader annoyed by the subdued hum of these conversations. Different sizes, shapes and colors. Different life stories, challenges, accomplishments, celebrations and sorrows. So much life to draw from when developing a character - and all from the practice of eavesdropping.