On the train home yesterday, there was a guy standing with his mountain bike, playing the flute. It was one of those wooden (bamboo?) instruments that creates an earthy, gentle sound. It was a lovely melody, a bit rambly and a lot sylvan. Created a somewhat surreal, almost eldritch ambiance to the ride. Interesting seeing the expressions on my fellow passengers’ faces: fascination, pleasure, curiosity, disinterest, and annoyance.
Transferring trains, I sat next to the door and witnessed a trio of angry boys jostling each other and shouting threats as they disembarked–obvious chest thumping overlaying an undercurrent of whine, rather than that simmer of true violence. They were young, and I was not at all worried about my safety, although I did have a few moments’ concern that their roughhousing would knock one of them into me, and therefore my laptop (unwarrented, as it turns out). When they exited, a jumble of reactions arose in their wake: laughter, rolled eyes at youthful exuberance, and a few quips at who would end up winning if the altercation did come to blows. A strange camaraderie of entertained commuters.
And this morning on the train, as I was working on the Japanese fantasy, I became aware of the passenger next to me peering furtively at my laptop screen from time to time, apparently curious to see what I was typing. It made me a bit self-conscious, which resulted in some rather clunky dialogue (that I’m going to have to either cut or clean up in my next editing pass), but it also amused me.
Lotso characters and setting inspiration on the train. A fringe benefit.
– Fan mail! I got an email from a creative writing college student who really liked the interview with Deborah Vetter I did for my September Writing for Young Readers column. She said I was a “true inspiration” and that I encouraged her to “make the most of every day and every writing opportunity.” *Squee!* That’s totally going to have me walking on clouds for a while.
– Payment from the fine folks of Aberrant Dreams for “Nobodies and Somebodies.” $$!
– 400 on the Japanese fantasy. And I plotted out the storyline.