I’m back on my way home, having arrived at the airport safe and sound after exactly forty five minutes of sleep. There were too many reasons that I couldn’t sleep, and I decided to book out an hour earlier than I had planned (2am instead of 3am) to give myself a little wiggle room getting to Logan airport. There were massive thunderstorms earlier, and I didn’t want to get caught up in one. In spite having grown up in Massachusetts, Boston is about as foreign to me as any city–we Western side staters keep to ourselves, and have conspicuously absent accents.

Regardless, I can’t promise coherency. But I must say flying would be a better experience if there were airships involved in at least some capacity. Or if they did something to beautify the planes a little more. I’ve flown since I was a kid, and have a love/hate relationships with these strange metal birds. This trip was my first on JetBlue, and I have to say I was surprised by the televisions and the XM radio aboard. But I’d much prefer some polished brass and mahogany, honestly. Or something super-futuristic, like touch-pad screens and VR windows.

… Yeah, I shouldn’t post when I haven’t slept.

But I do have some great ideas for writing this week, and I’ve been definitely itching to get back to the edit. Hopefully I can share the next podcast, too.

Most writers I know are people watchers. It’s something we can’t help. We’re captivated by the details of character, the subtleties of expression, the myriad possibilities that we see in flashes as we stare (sometimes too long) at people. A few times, for me anyway, it’s resulted in some rather odd situations, but that’s another post altogether.

Usually, the person inspires the sketch. But sometimes, the character’s already been written.

This, on occasion, is a very odd experience. Part of my brain–the large, sane, practical part–knows it’s just the fact that it is, on the whole, extremely easy to project these sorts of things. But the other part of my brain–the slightly zany, creative, and largely scatterbrained section–thinks of it more along the lines of Signs and Portends.

I suppose I only mention this because yesterday, on a Ghost Tour in Charleston, I ran across Emry, one of my main protagonists. As of yet I haven’t had a run-in to this level (I did meet someone who was a dead ringer for Sir Renmen a week or two ago). And it wasn’t as if this young man looked slightly like Emry, or reminded me of Emry, no; I looked at him, and for a moment or two there, my brain felt as if it were doing backflips. The internal monologue sounded something like:

“Look, it’s Emry.”

“No, he just looks like Emry.”

“But that’s exactly what Emry looks like.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, look at that nose. Look at the stance!”

“But it’s not Emry.”

“Right. Of course it isn’t. But it’s a doppleganger.”

“You probably want to stop having this conversation because either he’s going to start feeling uncomfortable, as you stare at him slack-jawed, or your fellow Ghost Tour walkers and/or friend will start thinking your a bit soft in the head.”

“But he looks like–”

“Yes, yes. I know.”

Though I’m quite an outgoing person, I never could broach a subject like this. How do you start the conversation with the doppleganger? “Excuse me, sir, but you look like a character in my book.” That’s plain creepy; I don’t think I’m creepy, myself, but it could be misunderstood. I don’t know. Perhaps I’m too self-conscious.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it’s indeed an rather intriguing experience, if often a little unsettling. The novel in my head is so very much in my head that moments when that line blurs… well, it’s just a unique sensation.

At any rate, I did quite a bit of writing between all the walking around Charleston. I have edited through Chapter Thirteen, and have (I believe) quite successfully re-routed the main plot, infused it a bit with more intrigue and mystery, and even managed to recycle some stuff from the last draft.

And now, before I start seeing any others of my characters appearing in flesh-and-blood forms, I should get back to writing.

I have found myself in a delightful Inn in Charleston, SC. It was not booked by me, but rather by my friend–and although I took a cursory glance at the website, I cannot say I was altogether prepared for the visual feast I received stumbling from my car after almost five hours of transport.

I can’t tell what I like more–the exposed wood beams, or the lush and gorgeous leather upholstered furniture. The sheer brassy look to everything, certainly puts me in mind of my characters, and the world in which they walk about.

There is a great deal to say about spaces, I think, and how they affect us. As someone who works from their home–both for subsistence and for pleasure–I often find the same walls (though admittedly filled with objects meant to inspire) can feel as if they’re bearing down on me. I lose perspective; I get lost sitting in one, static place.

That said, I’m looking forward to this weekend, to walking the old Charlestonian streets and basking in the glow of history (and, I hear, a few ghosts…).