At this moment I am in Beaufort, NC. The balcony of my room happens to look out on the water. It is a pretty amazing spot. The boats are going back and forth. A school bus just went over the bridge. Across the way, some men are using a hose to clean off their place of business and they are all wearing white boots; I saw some boats up next to that building earlier. Another man is on the pier fishing. The wind is blowing as the seagulls fly and squawk.
And here I sit, watching it all happen. I wonder if any of them are aware that they are being watched, or has it crossed their minds at all. For that matter, someone might be watching me as I sit on this balcony writing this.
I do my best to take in my surroundings because I might be able to use it in a story later. I want to remember what I see, so I write it down in a journal. I describe the birds (I think they are storks) floating on top of the water, the rattle of the bridge as the cars go over it, the absolutely blue sky that graduates from a true Carolina blue to a pale baby blue in the distance. The smell of fish, the bottle cap left on the rail, the odd shape of the pier. Any of these descriptions could go into a story.
When I am sharing a story I want to paint a picture. My goal is to disappear so all that is left is the story. I sometimes go to a coffee shop or store and try to disappear into a corner to watch people and take in the surroundings. Being aware of how the people walk, hold their coffee, cross their legs, or even talk to the barista helps me to prepare a story.
Sometimes friends will call or text me with something that could really add to a story. For instance, a friend sent me a text telling me that a man in Starbucks ordered a cup of regular coffee and spent nearly $10 on it. I responded with a gasp. She continued to tell me that he got 6 shots of expresso and a bunch of other stuff dumped in it. That tidbit she shared with me will so go in my journal to use in a story one day.
As I finish writing this post, I wish I had some inspirational note to wrap it all up, but I don’t. Instead, I'm attaching some pictures of the view from my balcony.
Now, I am going to go disappear into a corner.