Today I saw the strangest thing.
In the parking lot of a shopping mall, a middle-aged man was walking six pug dogs on leashes and two other pugs followed without a leash. I stopped placing groceries in the car boot, and simply watched him stroll along a path with his dogs. His arms swayed in large swings by his side, and he wore the biggest smile I’d seen on anyone as he strut his stuff. This guy was jovial, and wouldn’t you be if you had eight cute pug dogs.
Okay I’ll admit, he wore disheveled, dirty clothes and laughed to himself hysterically, but he was happy. I stared as he carefully crossed the street with the dogs, and my hubby had to tear me away so we could go home.
And that got me thinking. This guy would make an interesting character for a story. My mind went into overdrive with ideas. Was he an unwilling collector of dogs who were drawn to him? Each morning he would awaken to a scratching sound at the front door, and there waited another dog for him. Dogs had followed him his entire life, but only recently they multiplied and never left his side. The local papers called it an epidemic as the neighborhood dogs started vanishing. The man worried he would be caught and continued to hide the dogs in his house, until the day he started to hear the dogs’ thoughts.
OR, is he a side character in a story – someone’s neighbor who breeds pug dogs or collects them. This means he is a noisy and maybe even smelly neighbor. There are so many possibilities to spin this.
Inspirations from life, especially interesting characters such as this guy are resourceful, and I’m always quick to jot down any ideas that pop up. Much to my hubby’s shock, I love people watching. Of course this is done subtly so you don’t look like a stalker, but sometimes overhearing a few words of a conversation could lead to new writing adventures.