Very often, I'm amazed at how mundane my days have become. As a teenager, I imagined all sorts of exciting scenarios for my life. I would travel the world, sing on Broadway and be a best-selling author (still working on that one). Instead, I live in a little town of 2000 people, where exciting means you said hello to three people at the post office instead of one. I often watch people around me and wonder what they do to break the monotony.
But writing helps cure all my longing for a little adventure. Through the characters I create, I can be any age, live anywhere in the world, be male or female and choose bizarre occupations. In fact, I don't even have to make my characters be part of this world.
Once a character is born in my head, I get the wonderful task of getting to know what he/she is really like. The character I've been hanging out with today loves Tai Chi and drinking hot chocolate at midnight. She is independent and opinionated. She has a secret that will change the lives of everyone around her and she is also 99 years old.
Now I'm nowhere near 99, but it's fun trying to get into her head. I'm taking all the conversations I've ever had with my own elderly grandmothers and other women I've known and trying to get a sense of what it is like to hit that age. It's interesting to think what I might be like, if and when I get there. And then I wonder how a 99 year-old would react to the situation she finds herself in, compared to a 29 year-old who finds herself in similar circumstances.
The stories in my head have been pretty interesting this afternoon and beat the social event at the post office any day. Maybe that explains why my life, which really appears very boring on the outside doesn't drive me crazy. I can always walk in someone else's shoes as I craft a character and a story. That kind of excitement suits me just fine.