Bad Dates & The Magic of Community Tables

I’d be hard pressed to find a writer who hasn’t had the experience of someone asking if a character in their book is based on them, or if they really do write the people they know into their books. I can assure you that I’ve never written an actual person I know directly into my books.

Unless you’re sitting across the communal table from me at a coffee shop and happen to be talking about that bad date you had. And I also just happen to be writing a book where the main character is going to go on some terrible dates. That might end up in my book.

Speaking of which, a huge thanks to the ladies across the table at a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon who gave me the amazing material below the other day. Because, truly, sometimes you can’t make this stuff up: Continue reading

Pairings

There seem to be a lot of first dates going on in my neighborhood recently. Or maybe they’ve always been there and I’m more aware because I just wrote a super awkward first date scene in the novel I’m working on… hard to know. Anyway, here are two of my favorite observed moments (partially fictionalized, naturally): Continue reading

I’m Standing On Canal …

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Every time I’m in New York I’m convinced that the reason so many writers gravitate toward the city is for all the people watching. Space is a premium commodity and you find yourself sharing a table at a coffee shop, being seated inches from other diners at a restaurant and standing centimeters from fellow passengers on the subway. You can’t help but hear what that couple on their first date is talking about, or notice what the distinguished older gentleman in reading on the train. It’s character development gold. Which is why my favorite thing to do in the city is just be in the city. Grab coffee and watch people walk by, wander through parks and city streets and just listen.

Here are a few of the things I’ve seen over the last few days (also some things I’ve eaten and people I’ve hung out with): Continue reading