Thursday, March 25, 2010

We Interrupt This Break...

So we're in Florida. Our vacation plans were timely; I needed the escape, and the disconnect.

Yesterday we went to Disney World's Magic Kingdom. It was the perfect day with the perfect crowd. Prime people-watching, you know.

Near night's end, we rode It's a Small World After All. And by rode, I mean braved. Because it's a long, repetitive horror of a ride. But you do it for the kids.

Which is why I was intrigued by the woman who sat in front of us. She was in, I'd say, her mid-fifties. And she rode with no one but herself. Naturally, I was curious about her circumstance. Had she come to the amusement park by herself? Or separated from her family or friends for just a few minutes, to cruise the ride no one else dared go on?

I concocted a whole story, of course: She was a writer, on the premises for research. To see, to feel, to listen with intensity. Because she was writing the next big scene in her novel--where say, a child goes missing from the ride's line, or a man, romantically frozen for years, proposes to his girlfriend in the least likely of places--and she needed to build her reservoir of experience.

Because I do that. Put myself somewhere for the sake of the craft. To build on my experiences, to write about or pull from later. Have you done that?

What have you done to build your writer's (or life's) reservoir?

23 comments:

JLC said...

I just love our imaginations! Hope you are having fun.

To answer your question, my characters come from a variety of places. Me, a movie, a book, and then I mush those things together to make the character.

My characters are a lot like headcheese. ;)

june said...

She was naughty & her writer friends made her go on it so she had "It's a small World after all" stuck in her head all day ;)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janna -

LOL! It's hard to imagine someone voluntarily going on that ride.

I've traveled to the location where my first book is set. There's nothing like seeing it in person.

My second and third books are partially set in the same area, but also in another state. I'd love to visit that area, but it will cost more. For now, I'm perusing maps and reading all I can about the geography.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jill said...

Welcome to Florida! Hope you enjoy your time here.

I'm always making up stories about people--much to family's dismay. One day the school bus stopped in a odd place and I made up this whole story about how they killed one person each day as an example, and that's where they stopped to throw the dead body each day. My daughter asked me why I couldn't be normal like other kids' mothers.

septembermom said...

Don't you love when imagination kicks in? I've done that on the line at the supermarket. A particular customer will catch my eye, and all of a sudden a story starts to unfold in my mind. A great way to pass the time.

Hope you're enjoying Florida!!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

At the moment, I would have to give that question a great deal of thought. Not feeling very imaginative of late. At least in the writing frame of mind.

Did you ride the teacups? Those are my favorite.

Melissa Marsh said...

Have a wonderful vacation, Janna!

I love to people watch, too. Also, in the morning, I sometimes watch people as they drive and wonder where they're going, what kind of mood they're in, etc.

Karen said...

Ha, you were only 1-1/2 hours from me. Yes, I visited the traveling Vietnam wall, even though I had no one close, there. (A scene in my WIP)

thedomesticfringe said...

I'm glad you're in Fl having fun! Enjoy every bit of sunshine you can and then, enjoy some for me. :-)
-FringeGirl

Tom Stephenson said...

What have I done? Well I went to Orlando for work (NOT play) once, and slept through one of the last Shuttle launches on my day off.

I feel so bad about that, that I do not ever want to commit it to paper - until now...

Travis Erwin said...

I once called the DA to ask about the punishment for an accidental homicide involving a hit and run only to hang up and rad on the front page of the paper that the authorities were searching for a hit and run driver than killed a local man.

I'm still surprised my research didn't land me in the interrogation chir.

Kathy said...

I like to watch people when I'm out and about.

One time I was sitting at a table watching this woman putting on lipstick. ( I took out my notebook to try to record how she was doing it.) I figured I could work it into one of my stories.

Jen said...

I love Disney World!!! How fun!!!

My characters come from the world inside my head... they evolve into what I need and sometimes I don't know what that is until I'm in the middle of it!

Journaling Woman said...

Jenna- sounds like you are having fun. I tuck away all experience of all senses for my writing.

Capri K said...

So GLAD your vacation is going well! Enjoy the family time.

I cannot think of one scenario theat would cause me to go on that ride myself. Not ONE!

patti said...

Do you ever have a writer's heart.
Just LOVE you!

Most of my characters come from people I know--so WATCH IT.

Blessings and thrill in each moment.
P

Deb Shucka said...

What a great story. I'm always making up stories about people like this. My theory for your woman is that she was on the ride to satisfy some inner girl who never got to go to Disney World.

Glad you're having fun. Hope the get-away recharges everything that needs recharging.

myletterstoemily said...

i'm afraid that sometimes i miss our
on life, because i am writing about
it in some way or other.

or i'm asking my loved ones to repeat
the funny things they just said.

other times i think i am more tuned
in, because i am writing. . .

i can totally see a thriller set all around
the small world ride. :)

Tess said...

so glad you are having fun! I always make up stories in my head .. it passes time on plane trips or in long lines. And, it's fodder for later work, right?

Eileen Astels Watson said...

First, your vacation sounds awesome, Janna. Second, I tend to draw from all my life experiences when I write. Can't help myself, they're just too much a part of me not to use.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Sometimes I day dream about other people's and character's lives more than living my own *laughing*

You met Terri and Jessica! whoop! I'm envious!

MichaƩle said...

Hi hon! Long time no see! Have you ever heard that anecdote about the waiter who felt so sorry for the elderly people, sitting together, eating their meal in silence? How awful he felt for them. They must be miserable, sitting there in silence, eating as strangers. Until the waiter went around the other side of the table and saw that the silent, elderly couple were not only just eating but holding hands where he could not see it. No words were necessary for them to enjoy their meal, but just being together. It made me think of this post by you. My thought might have been that no one else in her group wanted to go on the ride so she went solo. I always think of the least saddest scenario because I always feel bad when I see people doing things alone!

WendyCinNYC said...

Hey! I love It's a Small World!

Hope you are having fun! We were in FL, too.