I’m doing a little experiment. It’s one of those experiments more accurately described as just an excuse to do something I want to do.
While I still love the coffee shop I do most of my writing in, I’ve decided to occasionally change my scenery. New scenery means new people which means new oddballs to observe. And oddballs are great for sparking ideas.
So yesterday I drove down to Santa Barbara, a beautiful beach town a little over an hour from my house. I was there from nine in the morning till about six at night. Other than a random shift of gravity which forced me into a movie theater (taking ninety-nine hilarious minutes to get out of), I spent most of my day in a new bookstore/coffeeshop. Being surrounded by the newness rejuvenated something in me. My creativity seemed fresher. My writing seemed fresher. I just might even smell fresher!
It was also Farmer’s Market in Santa Barbara, which is always a great place to people watch and look for future literary characters. As usual, there were a lot of street-side performers (mostly playing Beatles tunes). The only musician who was potentially book-worthy was a boy around twelve-years-old playing an acoustic guitar and singing. I’d never seen someone that young play at a farmer’s market by himself, which made the writer in my brain scribble down some notes for later use.
But the only oddballs I saw who might make it into my next novel were downstairs at Borders. One male and one female, they were in the children’s section…but they weren’t children. They could’ve been college-age, and they were laughing hysterically, using the picturebook reading area to wrestle. She was trying to prove she could pin him and he was trying to prove he could deflect her best moves without breaking a sweat. It looked like a ton o’ fun, which meant some poor employee was going to be asked to break them up. But that wrestling match (with their ages slightly deflated) just might find itself in my next teen novel.
The experiment is working!