Wednesday, November 10, 2010

People Watching

Take a cruise--get material for your next manuscript.

At least that is how I will justify it when I give the information to my accountant. To my way of thinking, it should be okay to write off the expense of the trip. I spent most of the day laying by the pool people watching. Well, that doesn't account for the breaks I took to get breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack and a couple of adult beverages but I needed to keep up my strength.

With my shades in place, I religiously maintained my vigil, keenly observing my fellow passengers as they enjoyed the trip. My husband accused me of being a slug. No, no, I assured him. I'm getting material for my next book.

I identified the newly married. They were attached at the hip to their spouse; while all the time, gazing lovingly into each other's eyes. The single set was also easy to identify. Both males and females were dressed to be noticed and consuming one after another adult beverage without a comment as to their cost. I know for a fact that all of them must still be living at home, because no one with rent or a mortgage to pay could afford the number of drinks they guzzled at $9.75 per pop.

On day two at sea I delved deeper into my research. I now began to guess the vocation of each of my fellow cruisers. One group of middle aged women had to be sorority sisters holding a reunion. An elderly man and woman appeared to be celebrating some milestone wedding anniversary. They even acted alike. One very uptight man was surely an accountant. He wore a long sleeved shirt the whole time and was never seen without his laptop.

Finally, there were the LSU fans. They were impossible to miss; walking arrogantly around in their purple and gold jerseys. I decided they were not to my liking and would never be a part of my next book as I watched the Alabama-LSU game on that sad Saturday afternoon. When it finished playing out, I headed for an adult beverage or two. The heck with what it cost--I needed consolation!

Later I would find that the group of women were not sorority sisters, but neighbors in a subdivision, the elderly man and woman were not a couple, they were siblings and the accountant was actually a pest control inspector who just loved his laptop.

I think I might need to do some additional research. Now, if only I can afford another vacation to perfect my skills.


M.V.Freeman said...

I like how your vacations can be combined as work.

We recently went on a trip...and for me it wasn't the people (although usually they are--there was this one guy dressed as a banana wearing a sombraro-seriously!)--it was the scenery! I wanted to get ambiance.

What did I get? The adjectives can't describe the mountains, the cathedral like trees...

I like the way you think...I think in the future I will have try and do more of that!

Amy DeTrempe said...

I like your way of thinking.

Kat Jones said...

Love it!! I read once that one of the older good actors people watched to get ideas for characters he would play (sorry, I can't remember the name).

You're right - those drinks are expensive!!!! Still, I think we all needed one after that game. ;)

Callie James said...

Sounds like you enjoyed your trip!

Welcome back!

Louisa Cornell said...

The trip sounds like fun! And people watching is an excellent way to gather material for books. I have always loved sitting in the mall and watching people, wondering what their story is and then imagining it on my own.

Now what I would like even better is to be doing this all important research in a little town like London or Edinburgh, but I guess you can't have everything!

Carla Swafford said...

When my oldest was a teenager, I would take her to the mall to hang out with friends. Then my youngest and I would sit in the middle and watch the people go by. That was an education in what not to wear or how to act like a fool. Whew!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Awesome, Diane. I'm all about travel for research or just fun, but I got a lot of random ideas on our trip to Europe over the summer. I'm already ready to go back!

Jeanie said...

Watching people is the best for getting story ideas. You can't make this stuff up.

Stern Rake Studio said...

Nice post--and very timely too. Just think: Any one of us could end up on a ship, dead in the water from a disabled engine and reduced to eating spam and poptarts!

Talk about story ideas!

As Jeanie said: You can't make this stuff up. (Although Carnival is saying they didn't feed the passengers the spam and poptarts flown in by the Coast Guard).