"I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all." ~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977

"I write when I dream and I dream when I write."

~Khadija Craddock

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Inspiration for Characters Everywhere

When you are writing a book or planning to write a book, the best inspiration sometimes come from just being out in everyday life. The idiosyncrasies of people that you walk by or sit next to, or work with, or study with, could make a riveting story and be  compelling characters. For instance, yesterday I was unfortunate enough to be at the dental clinic at University Hospital in Newark, NJ.  Whilst in the grunge inspired waiting room reading something on my nook, an older woman barges through the entry doors with a clumsy gait, looking quite unkempt and breathing like she just ran to the top of the Empire State building. The first thing that ran through my mind was, "Oh god a zombie!"  Naturally I readied myself for defense.

Then I thought, okay she must just be out of breath and she did indeed run here. Maybe she didn't want to miss her appointment and ultimately her breath will regulate. She stood in line to speak with the fickle receptionist but after a minute of panting with an open mouth, groaning and moaning, her breath didn't return to normal. She eventually sat down across from me sounding and looking like a zombie. I tried not to pay attention to her for that would be rude but the writer in me couldn't resist jotting a little note about her in my phone.

I was called to the back room; behind the locked door for x-rays. When I returned to the waiting room, the woman was pacing. I sat down in an unoffensive chair but I guess she had the same notion and sat next to me. Instantly -- this is going to sound horrible of me-- my nose began to burn from the stench of her. I tried to endure it and concentrate on my Sudoku but I just wasn't that tolerant, so I gingerly walked over to the other side of the waiting room and sat between a harmless looking  middle aged man and two young androgynous girls using foul language.

I hope I didn't offend the zombie.