This weekend I had another book signing. Strays Book Shop in Newark gave me the chance to spread the word of my Dragons just a little bit further and I had a blast. The biggest thing I was able to glean from this, aside from book sales(!), was the chance to stand in one place and watch as the world just carried on around me.
I’ve done it before, just stopped and watched and just marvelled at the beauty of the mundane. Watched as the lives of any number of people drifted past me, giving me the barest glimpse into all kinds of worlds as they wash past me on their way along to their own normality.
But surely that’s what all kinds of story telling really is? When you dive through everything we hear in any tale, it’s just a glimpse into someone else’s world. We give ourselves the chance to look beyond the bounds of our own self and through the window into another’s experience.
This weekend I watched as all kinds of people passed by on their way to who knew where and just looked on as they just carried on. I saw a father asking for books for his daughters because he wanted them to have a stronger knowledge of history, despite them not sharing that desire. I saw numerous people shopping for all kinds of gifts for loved ones and I looked on as happiness and sadness washed past the windows and let me see snippets of what was happening. I met a friend’s father who came to pick up a copy of my book and I came face to face with someone who’ll become the basis of a character in a future story, Mr Winter.
I had the chance to just stop and see some of what else was going on in the world and it made me see that to create characters and worlds, to find what I need to do what I need when writing, it’s so often as simple as just stopping and looking.