Have you ever had one of those weeks when it seems all the dastardly forces of Resistance are against you and your writing? If it wasn’t time suckers of the first magnitude (sitting on hold all day trying to find an intelligent being to understand they need to fix an incorrect bill) it was emotional vampires trying to attach their fangs and suck me dry of compassion and patience, and everything in between.
What’s a girl to do? Wear a necklace of garlic? Hide under the covers? I decided to high-tail it to the land of sunshine, laughter, and swishing tails.
Write Anywhere #61: The Zoo
I took advantage of a clear day with warming temperatures to make the drive about 20 minutes north to the Tulsa Zoo. I picked the perfect day for watching. Not animal watching, but people watching. Every preschool, daycare, and mommy-and-me group in the metro area convened on the zoo at the same time. I think I was the only adult without a child at the zoo that day. That gave me a unique perspective to watch all the human goings on. Since I didn’t want to take photos of all the beautiful children (frowned upon and creepy nowadays) I snapped some shots of the citizens of the zoo for you to enjoy.
There was an overall theme to the crowds and one word that hung above every conversation: “No!”
Besides observing all the animals, I practiced my writer’s dialogue deconstruction skills, otherwise known as eavesdropping. The first one sounds so much better, doesn’t it?
One of the best ways to learn about dialogue, and the flow of human conversation, is to listen to it. And the best way to get perspective on the world is to listen to children.
Best overheard conversations of the day:
Teacher: Aren’t the flamingoes beautiful?
Teacher: Does anyone know why flamingoes are that color?
Teacher: Because they eat so much shrimp it turns their feathers orange.
Child: That’s like when I eat too many Cheese Puffs it turns my nose orange!
A woman and her significant other:
Woman (stomping ahead): “You ain’t no better than me. You’re family ain’t no better than mine!
S.O: “That’s right! They’re ALL rednecks!”
Child: “Why are the penguins going under water?”
Parent: “To catch fish.”
Child: “Do they eat the fish they catch or throw them back?”
Parent: (shaking head) “What else would they do with them?”
Child announces to parents while looking at the albino alligators exhibit:
“I think they’re depending on us for lunch.”
Where did you write this week?
Question: Do you eavesdrop in public? Do you use anything you hear in your writing?