I find obituaries to be a wealth of inspiration for characters. For instance, I often scour the obituaries from my mother's hometown newspaper (Fountain Inn, South Carolina) for some good ole Southern names.
I'm getting ready to start a new book (I swear, I really am...tomorrow). Some of the characters are still a bit foggy. Yesterday there was an obituary that brought one of them immediately into focus.
In the obituary, a friend of the deceased commented that she "believed in fresh air and sensible shoes." I love that!
But the best part was when one of her relatives said that there was something by her bedside just a few days before she died: a chronology of the kings and queens of England that she was memorizing again.
First of all, I love that she was memorizing the kings and queens of England. How cool is that?
But the best part is that she was doing it again. So, she had done it once already, had forgotten them at some point, and was doing it again! I mean, double cool.
I am so using that.