Does an older woman become the doting grandmother? Does that creepy guy that sits beside you become an ax murderer?
There is an old woman walking into the cafe, holding the hand of her young granddaughter. Or could she possibly be the love child of her older years? I believe she is her grandchild. There is the man sitting two booths away from me. He looks at me, checking out what he thinks are the goods. He takes a puff of his cigarette. What thoughts could be running through his head? My own thoughts show that he is a nonchalant pervert who preys on unsuspecting young women. He's cute, but not that cute.
I am the observer. I take notes of what I am seeing before me. Could I possibly put these three people into a story? The man could try to steal from the old woman and her grandchild. He would demand money, and then the gun would accidentally go off. Or would he be carrying a knife? Or could he be a running terrorist? I scratch out the old woman and child and think of military intrigue. He is someone who is holding a deep dark secret and will be arrested and killed if it is found out. He could be a person that the officials could be hunting right at this very moment.
A young woman walks by. To the creative eye, she is beautiful. Her hair is dark and her eyes are a light blue. She is petite of both build and size. Could she possibly be the mother of the young child that stands with the old woman begging for hot chocolate and a muffin? Could she be the lover of the man looking at me, undressing me with his eyes? She passes on through the café and orders her Caramel Macchiato, and takes a table nearer to the window. She begins to read her new Harlequin romance novel. What is it about? Dashing pirate who steals a young woman's innocence and later her heart or the knight who saves fair maiden on the eve of a great war and they run away together?
I let my pen drift haphazardly across the paper. Little doodles form in the corner. A story idea begins to create itself onto the paper. I see something about ghosts and goblins and runaway little girls. Could I possibly place the little granddaughter into the story? Make her a heroine perhaps. I could give the little girl her own red cape and basket of goodies for grandmother.
I take a sip of my coffee. I write out the details of the little girl. I see short, curly blonde hair. Big smile and baby blue eyes. I change her hair to straight and a little past her shoulders. I give her a cupid bow smile. I leave the impish little glint that gleams in her eyes. She is a little girl on her own grand adventure. Should I make the man the big bad wolf? I think that is pushing it a little bit far.
My watch alarm beeps to tell me that it is time to leave. I fold the paper and smash into my bag. I'm running late. I need to go. Like the rabbit in Alice I'm late, I'm late. I'm late.
The thoughts of the people in the coffee shop are forgotten, and I barely make it to class in the ten minutes I was allotted. I pull out the notebook for class and a half chewed pencil.
I look at all of the students. I remember the story ideas from my coffee break and jot them down into my notebook. Many of them could easily become characters in newer stories.
I look at the freshman girl that sits to the right of me. She's tall, petite of frame. Dark blonde hair that models would kill for and her eyes are those that I believe men would die for. Should I try to place this girl as a character beside the man from the café? Make them into an older man with a trophy wife. Give the story an air of murder and mystery? Young woman kills older husband to get his money. It is an interesting concept, but way overdone. Could I make him a vampire looking for a young, beautiful companion for all eternity? No, No. That one is overdone as well. Maybe I could make her the young French virgin and him the suave experienced older lover. That's too risqué, even for my tastes.
I watch the football player in front of me fall down into his seat one minute before class begins. He takes a deep breath, his broad shoulders rising. He turns around to me and asks for a pencil. I see his dark brown eyes and black hair. The strings of a new idea pluck themselves a dark chord. I see the beginnings of a heady, forbidden love in the throes of the deep, old South. The setting would be the aging plantation home. The freshman girl would be the governor's daughter and he the young slave butler. I believe they would run the Underground Railroad and live happily every after. I scratch the idea because tear jerking emotion are not exactly my style.
Or maybe I could take the young man on the other side of me and put him in a story. He is in the military. I can tell that from the Marine cut of his hair and the way he carries himself.
I could write my own battle scene and make him a hero. Maybe give him a sword instead of a gun. I would put him in a fantasy world. That is what is popular today isn't it? Or I could just write him into a famous battle, such as Normandy or the siege of New Orleans in 1812. He becomes the tragic hero and sacrifices himself to save a comrade in the eve of war and his deed is never known. I believe a happier ending for that. He storms Normandy only to find the little Parisian girl of his dreams. They marry and have little children running around a house painted blue with a white picket fence. That almost follows the path of my thoughts from seeing the young café woman's romance novel.
I see a heartwarming story forming before my eyes. Young man could be returning from the ravages of war. His wife has died while he was away. What stands before him is his mother, the woman from the café, and his young daughter, her grandchild. It is sad, but way too generic. I can't place the man as having a four year old daughter when he himself could not be much older then me.
The wheels of my mind keep turning as I observe those around me. I place them into their own worlds of my creation. That is the way of the writer I assume. You are putting those that you see into your own thoughts.