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Collecting People


Hello! I'm experimenting with blogging every day. Because I'm very new to this, I need your help. Please take a minute to drop me a line and let me know what you think. I will post stories, thoughts, and possibly recipes (if I'm having an off day). Here's the post for today.


When I'm on the bus or the tube, I collect people. If I only have a short distance, I merely look at a person and try to find something in their face or their outfit or their mannerism that I like. A guy in his 60s wearing a Trilby hat and reading "A Gentleman in Moscow". A young woman with long curly black hair with highlights wearing perfect nails and makeup and a shocking pink buttoned-down shirt.

When I have longer, I let myself build a story around these people.

That guy in his 60s is an ex-spy who quit because he fell in love with a woman and decided to settled down. The woman, however, fell in love with someone else while he was 'tying up loose ends', and he was left to navigate civilian life on his own.

The young woman is a no-bullshit investment banker (I live in London, after all), ruthless and sharp, although she met a client with whom she really 'clicked' and she's reconsidering her ironclad rule of 'no sleeping with clients'.

I've been doing this for as long as I can remember. I know these stories are entirely fictional, but I can't help it. My brain does it automatically. I don't have a choice. Realising that not everyone does this is one of the reasons I decided to give writing a go.

Some of these would amount to nothing at all. Just me scribbling in my notebook hoping I won't get caught. Making eye contact is one of the most grievous crimes on the London Public Transport. The reason they would amount to nothing is that, usually, the first idea you have is trite and flat. I'll write it down anyway.

Some of these would end up in a short story. Some would be a couple of lines in the book I'm working on. Very rarely I would be hit by an idea for a whole book based on watching other people. Then I write it down in the ideas section of my notebook. And I look at the next person.


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