I’ve been kind of quiet on here the last couple days. Usually that happens when I’m getting some writing done, which has been the case. My current work in progress is almost 30k now, although I haven’t updated my progress bar on the front page yet. One other thing I did was drown my phone in the lake. Yes, I took it for a swim. Needless to say, it’s not doing so well. Everything works but the screen, which is the important part. I’m hoping it just decides to work on its own but I doubt it. I tried all the usual, praying over it, voodoo, called upon the gods of Valhalla. I even did a Native American dance, and offered it up as a sacrifice. Which is probably why we’re getting all these storms lately. Oh, and I even put it in a container full of rice.
Since I’ve been completely phone-less, and since I usually write my blog posts on it, I’ve been kind of silent. Which I suppose isn’t completely bad, since I’m getting some writing done. On the other hand, I had a first chapter of the sequel to my book on it, which makes me kinda sad. Fortunately, I have most of it in my head.
As I go through my day, I usually pick up on weird things I think I’ll use somewhere in a book. I went to a full service gas-station yesterday (Yes, apparently there still are some of those), and no, they don’t charge you more money for the gas. The attendant came out and pumped the gas, said something like “you fellers have a nice day” and ran back into the air conditioning. I don’t blame him. He sounded sort of like Gomer Pile.
Another thing I notice was how completely unobservant most people are when going about their day. This observation doesn’t necessarily come from any particular day, just a lot of them strung together. When I’m in my home state of North Carolina, I do whats called Open Carry. That means I strap a gun on my hip and go about my day, sort of like an old cowboy. Except I’m not old, and I don’t carry a ball and cap six-shooter. There’s actually a group of us that get together about once a month and go to a restaurant (one that doesn’t serve alcohol, NC laws don’t allow that). When you start open carrying for the first time, you think people are staring at you. You think all they see is that big hunk of metal on your waist, and wait for the little old lady next to you to start screaming “HE’S GOT A GUN!” and start beating you with her brick of a purse. You expect to be tackled by some numb nuts who thinks he’s playing hero trying to save walmart from a shootout.
Only, none of those things happen. Instead, you’re the one with the hyper sense of awareness, and you’re watching everyone around you. If there’s one thing that makes you more aware of your surroundings (which everyone should be, just as a general rule) its open carry. Suddenly, you see that little lady with her purse, and she’s so busy looking at the floor, or concentrating on her shopping list, or gossiping to her neighbor, that she doesn’t notice that big cannon you’re carrying around. The tackle you’re expecting from some wannabe hero doesn’t come, because he’s too busy doing whatever it is brought him there in the first place. It’s like the gun’s invisible. It doesn’t feel like it, but in the grand scheme of things it might as well be.
On the off occasion that someone notices, they look and they immediately think “cop” and dismiss it. Unless they know the laws, which a good 98% don’t. I’m surprised at how many cops don’t have a clue what the laws are. The other thing they might do, is approach you and ask, “is that legal?” No. I just like the way it feels. I just wear this to balance the weight of my phone. (dang phones are heavy!) Most people don’t realize that there are only six states (I might be including D.C. in that) that DON’T allow open carry. That means in 45 states, you can strap a gun on and go about your day. Of course, you should know the applicable laws, I’m not a lawyer, can’t give lawyerly advice blah blah, and I wouldn’t recommend doing it unless you know which end the bullet comes out of. There’s always things to take into consideration.
On research: I’ve been doing a lot of snorkeling, boating, and canoeing. I don’t normally do these things, but since I”m spending time with my in-laws (aside from doing all the gun related stuff) I’m getting in a lot of these activities. I have a ton of hobbies: painting, drawing, playing piano/guitar/any stringed instrument I can get my hands on, I’ve tinkered with motorcycles (I’m no expert yet), gardening, actually did some minor woodworking (helped my father-in-law build a table top) and I’m planning to build a frame for our bed out of oak when I get home. That’s aside from the usual people watching, for speech patterns, inflection, movement, and mannerisms. Anything and everything really is fodder for the writer’s cannon.