Quote of the Day: The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn’t behave that way you would never do anything.
~John Irving (1942 – )
Let me introduce you to five friends who meet at a coffee shop. They’re connected through their love of music and performing. They call themselves the Swingin’ Sallies, although not one is named Sally. They are:
Laura, married, mother of five, including twins who are the youngest. She seriously needs a creative outlet, a long solitary bath, and a triple shot latte, “No, don’t hold back on the whipped cream.”
Lolly, Laura’s mom. They’ve been singing together since Laura was out of the womb. Lolly’s husband died a year ago from colon cancer. She still wears black nearly every day, but plans her new flower garden while sipping her herbal tea. Oh, and going on an Alaskan cruise is still a dream she talks about from time to time.
Aubrey, a hair stylist. She’s got an eye for a good make-over. She’s single and cruising the ‘net for the next exciting date. A hot mocha is like a warm hug to her, especially after a morning of hearing salon chair confessions (but that’s another story).
Jewell, stay-at-home mother of two. The youngest started Kindergarten this year. The older is in second grade. She’s in charge of everything – the schedule, the children, her home. She’s always “on call.” Her cell phone and planner are her appendages. She’ll order a fresh brew, black, because she’s watching her weight. Or, is it her husband who’s watching her weight? (She secretly craves a turtle latte.) Naturally, she’s in charge of the schedule for the group. Whenever they add a new gig she says, “I’ll check with my husband then put it on the calendar.”
Roxy, an artist, easily distracted (I mean interested). Her coffee order varies with her mood. Some days she just wants a fresh brew, sometimes with a splash of cream, or maybe a mocha, or hmmm… What’s the special today? Her husband is kind and supportive and rescues her often with a forgotten item.
Wouldn’t you just love to eavesdrop on their conversations?
Research for this project has been stimulating. I’ve spent many hours with girlfriends at coffee shops. I’ve spent some solitary time there, too, writing, thinking, and yes, eavesdropping. I can’t help it. I daydream in dialogue. The quote at the top of this post fits me when I’m working on a script. I keep notecards handy and write down conversation bits, ideas, scenes. I am writing in the spare minutes. As a mother of four who’s in charge of everything, I have only snippets of time and limited energy. Keeping a pencil and scraps of paper scattered throughout my home, van, and purse have been my way of letting this story pour out.
Journaling Prompt: Fess us! I know you’ve done it. Write about a time when you accidentally, or on purpose, listened in on a conversation.