Earjacking anyone?

Fog rolled around the cold acres of the Tsawwassen terminal. Two thin lines of cars and trucks waited for a ferry that costs thousands of dollars an hour to run.

In the toilet stalls in the women’s washroom, a conversation bounced off the shiny tiled walls, like ricocheting bullets:

“He’s really mature for his age.”

“I know but he still gets on my nerves.”

“I think he’s a nice boy.”

“He’s driving me crazy. He wants things his way all the time.”

“I could take him off your hands if you want.”

“Seriously?”

“I really like him. I could get him moving nicely.”

Silence from the nearest stall.

“You know...if you didn’t mindI bet I could get him to stand still for brushing.”

“Cool. And that would give me more time to work with Esme.”

When I emerged to wash my hands two young women stood at the sinks, dressed in the winter uniform of horse riders everywhere: waterproof jodhpurs, fleece vests, and muddy, knee-high boots.

As soon as I got back to the car, I wrote up the earjacked conversation in my notebook. Thus one writing task for the day drew to a close, proving once again how important it is for a writer to always carry a notebook, and to keep her ears and eyes open.

Where have found gems like this? Did you seek them out or were you simply a prepared opportunist?

Journal Entries

Word count: 250                                                                                 Reading time: approx. 1-2 min

If you have ever worked in an accounting department then the term journal entry may have several meanings. To me, as a writer, it means one thing: the lines I scratch into a notebook at the end of the day.

My journal entry is when I capture my day with pen and paper. 100 words or less.

I’ve kept diaries before, volumes of them. Kept them, read them, and burned them. So I’ve been cautious with my current journal as I will be with this blog. I’ll keep the entries brief and germane.

Sometimes even as I’m writing in my journal I wonder why.

Does it matter that it was 24 degrees out today and for the first time in a week cool air blew in on the evening breeze? Maybe not immediately but when I set a story in Vancouver on a late summer’s day, it may be important to know that the robins have stopped singing and the Stellar jays have started tapping on the back window again.

The line drawing I did of the person I watched when he didn’t think anyone was looking may inspire an entire character.

My journal is both a record and a resource.

What do you write regularly? An update to your FB status? A few lines of verse? E-mails to a friend? Notes on a calendar? Or are you more visual – do you record the passing time in photos or sketches?