One day last week a van with a logo pulled up across the street and parked. A man climbed out and looked busy, and yet it didn’t seem like he was really doing anything. He was there for a couple of hours and finally took off.
The next day a pickup truck with a different logo pulled up across the street and parked, and again, a man climbed out and fiddled around, not looking like he was really accomplishing much. He left after a few hours.
On the third day a larger truck (again with a different logo) pulled up and parked across the street. Surprise, surprise, a man climbed out and looked busy without seeming to do a darned thing.
Okay, they had my attention. My office is in the front of the house and my windows are placed so that I can see everything that goes on across the street. This went on for the rest of the week, with trucks or vans always parking in the same spot and leaving after some time had passed.
I joked to my daughter that I felt like Big Brother was watching. She laughed and said, “Oh, you’ve got to do a blog about that.”
I suppose these trucks could inspire a book, or my story might make you think I’m nuts. I’d rather think in terms of having an overactive imagination.
Of course, I’m positive that each of these trucks was here for a legitimate purpose. I’m not really nuts. I’ve just read too many mystery and suspense novels, and watched too many television shows. Yeah, that’s probably it.
Come to think of it, there was one driver who got out and stood between the two houses across the street. All he did was look up, from one roof to the other, before he… Well, he didn’t do anything else except stand around – for quite a while. Hmmm. I might have thought he was going to give them a roofing estimate, but he never wrote anything down.
Almost everything we observe can be a basis for a book. Life has a way of handing us interesting situations. What we do with those is what makes us writers. It’s what entertains readers.
In my mind, observation and research are two of the most important parts of writing, and sometimes they’re one in the same.
The trucks reminded me of another story. Many years ago I lived in an apartment complex. I came home late at night and there was a man in the alley between the buildings. When he saw my headlights he started banging on some meters. Being the suspicious sort, and having had prowler problems in the area, I called the police. They came out and checked, and later told me he was a meter reader. I couldn’t imagine reading meters at ten o’clock at night. I called the electric company the next day. Uh, they didn’t have anyone out reading meters in our area the night before, or any other night. Repairs were sometimes done at night, but not meter reading. Fodder for a story?
I’d be willing to bet that you, both writers and readers, have observed some unusual things. Can you imagine these incidents in a book? Sure. Why not?
Until next time, have a good week and keep your eyes open. Don’t miss any of the good stuff. You might need it for a story the next time you think, “I’m out of ideas. Now what?”
CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website
CLICK HERE for a quick trip to Amazon.com
Black Butterfly – A Bogey Man Mystery and Having a Great Crime – Wish You Were Here, A Sandi Webster Mystery, might brighten your day. Give them a try.