A person must possess many different traits to be a writer.
Imagination -- without it you can't think up a good story.
Patience -- writing, especially a novel is not an easy or quick process
Stubborness -- a wannabee writer hears no more often than a two year old at Toys' R Us.
Ego -- it takes a certain mindset to wanna play God with characters and worlds.
There are of course more attributes but for the sake of getting tot he point let me add nosiness to the list as it is one of my favorites as well as one trait in which I excel.
Some people call it eavesdropping. I call it research. But if I am honest it is just out and out nosiness.
A few years back I sat on the concrete base of a pillar outside the Golden Nugget on Vegas's Freemont street next to a young man in his early twenties.
The young man was too drunk to pay me much attention as he slurred into his cell phone. He alternated between begging for forgiveness and professing of undying love. It was obvious the fellow was only minutes away from either passing our or puking. Perhaps even both. My wife was tried her best to persuade me to move along but I couldn't. Despite having had a drink or three myself I was fixated on this guys conversation. My writerly mind began to picture the young, way too patient woman on the other end.
For the record the girl hung up after fifteen or twenty minutes. The kid puked, luckily his vomit missed my shoes, but sadly that luck didn't carry over to the gaming tables. Last I saw that guy was curled on the ground in the fetal position but my eavesdropping gave birth to a story I've yet to write it. I do, however, have ten pages of notes for what will someday find their way onto the page.
Yesterday the scene was much different. I was at a city park here in Amarillo. Watching my nearly 9 yo son try out for a select traveling soccer team. I sat in a lawn chair surrounded by women as apparently, soccer dads are an oddity.
These women mostly knew each other as their kids have played in this particular organization since they were 5. The soccer mom's hung about in small clusters of three or four whispering, talking sideways from their mouth and smiling while venom dripped from their gleaming white fangs.
To be fair let me say not every cluster operate this way. The two women to my left were quit pleasant and talked about family, friends and kids. The group behind me and the two to the right however dissed upon every other woman at the park. When they got down picking apart the bones of their peers they started in on the kids, husbands and even coaches within the soccer organization. Then when they ran out of specific people they started talking about cultures and get this ... people who eat and serve red meat to their kids.
Chicken or fish once or twice a week is okay they surmised but how do you expect your kid to be healthy of you feed them steak and hamburgers every other day?
I'm gonna sneak in my own tacky comment here and say my meat chomping kid made the team. At least one of Vego-mom's lettuce chompers will not be traveling with the squad when they head off, get it HEAD off to tournaments.
But really this post isn't about me defending my meat loving ways or my kid being better than her kid at soccer. Really,it isn't but that was fun to type.
No, this post is a thank you to those women, for I know have a great idea for a hilarious novel. Characters are already starting to take shape and while it may change right now I'm calling it ...Vegan Soccer Moms From Hell