Weirdo GooseWe Geeks come from all sorts of weird places. Walking around Little Five Points today in Atlanta, I was struck by the beautiful oddities around me, reveling in the weirdness that seems to ebb from every stoop. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t amazed by strange objects, stores, and people. And this works, because a writer I have a habit of watching people and making up adventures about them.

The odd places attraction comes from my childhood. My godparents used to bring me to Northampton, MA and I’d get to visit the most eccentric stores. The best, of course, was Faces. Faces, for anyone who’s ever been to Noho or Smith College, is definitely a Pioneer Valley landmark. Back when I first visited, it was one floor, and more than anything, it had toys–toys so lovely and fantastic, so colorful and funky, so beautiful and eclectic, that I never wanted to leave. There were magnets and doohickeys, sandscapes, and well, to save the trouble of description: ThinkGeek has a great page with many of these objects of which I speak.

I’ve always been more crafty than makey, but I realized as I was going through chapter two, and thinking about Professor, that much of her character comes from my love of odd toys. Half of what I found today and wanted to take home were odd toys, strange dolls, odd tinkerings. But I exercised restraint. (And holy crap did I ever fall in love with Bungalow360 Bags… I was so close to buying one, but could hear my husband complaining about the purses I already have and… darn, darn, darn).

Anyway, what I’m trying to say in this late night post is that oddity, eccentricity, and the writing process really do go hand in hand. It’s no surprise that the steampunk movement is so complex, so broad, and so unbelievably artistic… We tinkerers (whether in a literal or literary sense) are really part raven, drawn to the stunning, the strange, and the shiny.

(Note: I did not get the Bungalow360 bag, but I did score some great perfume, some skull and crossbones hair clips–oh so cool–and a great shade of lipstick; I said restraint, not complete denial.)