Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I probably should not be posting this time of night when I'm half asleep and bone tired, but forgive me if I ramble.
My class last Tuesday was excellent with about ten delightful students of all ages. Our oldest is 85 and writes with the confidence of a seasoned writer. All of us are looking forward to his sharing his memories from as far back as World War II. We discussed organizing our stories in folders and writing down the turning points or milestones in our lives. One man couldn't wait to begin heading his folders. I have a good, good, feeling about this class. The trust is already there. I must confess I just love writers and being with writers, beginners or professional.

All of my life I have dealt with stressful situations by writing. Writing is therapy for me and I'm grateful I enjoy it. A few weeks ago as I waited in a room filled with people young and old starring into space, encircled by arms of loved ones, hands griped in hands, the tension and fear was thick enough to choke a person. I pounded on my Neo, a little keyboard I can use anywhere. I would later download my writing to my computer. Like a reporter at the scene of an accident I keyed in all the characters, described faces, body shapes, expressions and actions. I learned this from Darnell Arnoult an excellent writer who says she keeps a notebook with her and gets some of her best characters from watching people in waiting rooms.
I don't plan to use these people in a fiction piece, but it helped me through my waiting time to write about them and imagine what they were facing.
Do you study and examine people you see and wonder about them? Do you write about them? Most writers are observant of the people around them in restaurants, standing in lines and anywhere they can watch people. Try it the next time you have to wait in a doctor's office. Just make notes on what you see in the faces of those who are there in the room. Describe their physical attributes. Notice the difference in noses and describe them. It is fun and a good way to get your mind occupied if you happen to have a troublesome situation you'd rather not think about.
I'd love to hear from anyone who has ever done that or who thinks it might be a good thing to do.

1 comment:

tipper said...

I do enjoy watching people and wondering about their lives-I've never written anything down-but maybe I should try it.