Friday, May 4, 2007

Characters to die for

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.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Barb! Great blog. I find character details in obituaries, too and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. I got the habit from my dad, who used to read humourous and/or compelling obits to me over the phone when I was in college. You can't make some of that stuff up! I had an a-ha moment about eulogies, obits, tributes, etc. when I made a slideshow for my sister-in-law who's turning 40 next week. I realized the things we appreciate about others are often NOT the things they would cite as their most appealing attributes. I like to read books (like yours) that include those kinds of revelations.

Erin said...

That is so great!

Anonymous said...

I saw that comment too! I loved the remark by my friend years ago that she always knew the correct bus line from Boston to Cape Cod by the shoes being worn.... always comfy ones.