5:26pm. Coffee Bean. I sit here at my little table and look out the window and I realize that this is a privilege. To be here, in this afternoon, in this life, in this story, this real one, this imagined one. Afternoons are different than mornings. A different flavor, a different feeling. They are good, too.
I am still in my gym clothes. Never snagged a shower. Today was about racing around, between places, between scenes. There was the trip up Amsterdam with my sweet littles. There were kisses goodbye in classrooms. There was a great workout. There was breakfast with a new, good friend. There was conversation about life and love, struggle and stories. About the stuff we can write about and the stuff that must stay tucked away, inside us.
There was another walk up Columbus Avenue. A man stood selling books on the sidewalk. And I looked at him, really looked at him. The way my character Tate, a photographer, would have looked at him. I realized that this man had a whole story, a whole life before this point. I imagined what that story was.
I sit here, a bit loopy from caffeine and a dose of Dayquil, and I realize that, for me, I must live in the world to write about it. I must get out there and take walks and have lunches and lock eyes and witness people doing their thing in order to create a believable fictional world. It is all material, these moments in the world.
Even this. This sitting here, this writing words, this listening to Christmas music. Yes, it is October and I am listening to the Christmas music my parents used to put on in our home when I was a girl. Leontyne Price. Oh, the memories her voice brings. As it turns out, my character Smith does this too. She listens to Christmas music beginning in November because it takes her back. To the simpler days of childhood. To the magic of the holidays.
Write what you know. Know what you write. Live in the world. Soak it all up and then sit down and write about it.
All a privilege. A messy, magical privilege.
Back to the page. And then back home to my sweet babes.
Have a good night, guys.