Recently, I discovered a great new place to write. On the weekend I’ve taken to hanging out at Border’s. I get a latte and a bagel and set up my laptop in the corner. Half the time I write, the rest of the time I people watch. It’s a great way to find inspiration for new characters. It’s nice when you get the privilege of peaking in on rare occasions.
For example, last weekend a young business woman was sitting at her computer, crunching numbers when a tiny little man (of the most flirtatious age of just under two) wandered over to her table, pulled out a chair and greeted her with a boisterous "Hello.” Dad (thoroughly embarrassed by the child’s actions) came to retrieve the toddler and apologized for his son’s extraverted nature.
Personally, I think the young woman loved it. She bought the little guy a cookie to share and spent at least ten minutes cooing at the youngster. I don’t think she could have asked for a more pleasant diversion. After the young suitor left she smiled with contentment then returned to the task at hand with much more enthusiasm than she had started with.
The lighthearted scene brightened my day as well. Until that point it had been pretty much me and the girl who tends the coffee counter. She was quite bubbly and must have thought I looked hungry. I don’t know if she was eager to please or just plain bored but in two hours time she brought me samples of pumpkin latte, pumpkin scone, pumpkin bread and an oatmeal cranberry cookie (She must have run out of pumpkin!) Luckily for my bathroom scale the people started to wander in, taking up more of her time and so the ‘sample-giving’ eventually came to a halt.
I guess the thing I really love about writing there is the ability to submerge myself totally in my story. I don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner or if I’m ignoring my husband. I do, however, have to worry about noises. I’m an animated writer who sometimes acts things out to make sure they’re jotted down just right on paper. The story I’m working on right now involves a Conquistador, and I found myself trying to work out convincing dialog for him. I became aware of how enthusiastically I was writing when I realized I had an audience. A gent at a table across the room sat poised with his chin on his open hand, giving me his undivided attention. I waved, and he waved back, and we both returned to what we were doing. Perhaps I’m not the only story-absorbed author he’s ever seen there. Maybe one day I’ll end up in his book.
So, if you’re ever in Border’s in Auburn Hills, Michigan, on a weekend morning, and you see someone who looks like a crazed writer wearing green earplugs and bopping to Hudson Brother’s songs while writing…That’ll be me. Come on over and say ‘Hi.’ You might just end up in a romance novel.
Lea Winter has always loved writing. The youngest of three children, she learned early jotting tales of vivid fantasy on paper was a pleasing way to wile away the time. An ardent fan of Rod Serling and Alfred Hitchcock, Lea’s first thought was to write short shock, suspense/horror stories professionally. When she found she didn’t have the heart to be as gruesome as the mainstream reader required she returned to her long time favorite, romance.
She loves spinning old-fashioned tales with a modern twist. “I think romance should be about feeling good. I like to read a story where the hero is chivalrous and is emotionally there for the heroine. She shouldn’t be helpless but the hero has to offer that one special thing the heroine is lacking to make her life complete. I guess that’s why I loved writing Sterling from Ellie’s Delight. He’s a bad boy but you know it will turn out okay in the end.”