Sometimes, I feel like a zombie walking through life, not noticing a thing around me as I dwell in another world. Other times, my attention is so rapt on something going on that's none of my business, I forget I'm not invisible.
The thing about being a writer is your characters take on lives of their own. Even if you're not Shakespeare. It's true. It happens to the best (and worst) of us. I've been living with my characters of "Walking on Water" for nearly a year now (it's not out until next Fall.) My book is set in Santa Cruz and I've been going there at least twice a month, to hang out and soak up the setting. We live about 40 miles away and this weekend, I took two of the kids there to the Boardwalk (we usually go along the shore and walk the dog.)
Not invisible moments: In Santa Cruz, I noticed there is no good way to wear heels and a minidress -- and adding white sunglasses with rhinestone. No. Please girls, no. Britney Spears shaved off her head too, is that next? Beachcombers do not separate the boardwalk (think amusement park) from the beach below. Gentlemen, may I just say if you are over 300 lbs? Please keep your shirts on. That way, no one will confuse you with Bond. And for the ladies? Bikini tops don't wrap under fake boobs. The two triangles sort of float there, defying gravity and many other forces of nature. I felt a little violated with all this private information I shouldn't have been privy to.
Zombie moment: Today at soccer, it is pitch black and I am writing with a pen and paper under a booklight when my daughter ran to get me. It was like she pulled me from this spell and suddenly I heard the screaming that was a buzzing noise in the background. It was a little friend who had fallen off a jungle gym. Nothing serious, but I swear I hadn't heard a thing. I mean, I know my kids' cries. I would like to think I would have disengaged for my own child, but they have been known to force eye contact.
Being a writer is an acceptable form of crazy. Didn't Dickens' characters talk to him too? And Chuck, could you spare a few? You're not using them anymore, right?
Labels: character, Research, Santa Cruz, Writer