Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Airports, airports

I just got back from visiting my parents in Indianapolis. Wouldn't you know, part of the time we had Seattle weather--rain. Must've brought it with me. :-) I had a wonderful time, and always hate to leave. There are no direct flights from Seattle to Indianapolis (except in the summer, when Northwest offers one each day. But only in the summer--go figure!). That's why I spent a few hours in airports coming and going, waiting for my connecting flight.

Much as I dislike the waiting, airports are terrific places to hatch story ideas. Observing how people behave can help us writers enrich the behavior of our fictional characters. Here are some of the people I observed (I sound like a bird-watcher, lol) this trip. A harassed young mother coping with a baby and a very active toddler. A couple arguing about how she always picks on him and he's sick and tired of it. (Little did they know that I was eavesdropping!) College-age boys watching college-age girls, and vice versa. Service men and women, so young and brave, coming home from Iraq for a two-week leave. When I see soldiers, I always tear up. Without getting into politics, just let me say that I hate that they're exposed to such dangers, and hate that some won't come back. I always send them good wishes and hope they stay safe.

Each of the above people/scenarios stirred my creative juices, but what snagged my attention and my imagination most was the thirty-something father and his teenage son (who looked about 14). The man was occupied with his email. His son looked bored and slightly hostile, but also somewhat lost. My mind positively spun with questions. What's going on between them? Does the father always work, even with his son in the same room? Does he intentionally use work to distance himself from his son, and why? Is the son resentful? Does he feel loved? And where is his mom?

You guessed it, my head is full of possibilities for a story with this scenario in some form or other. At the moment, I have lots on my writing plate, but I have no doubt that at some point in time, I will develop a story about a father and son... and the missing mother.

What are some of the most interesting events and/or people you've seen at airports? I'd love to know.

Until later,

All I Want for Christmas, November 2007


Jennifer Shirk said...

Well, I saw a man slip (around a WET FLOOR sign) and go completely horizontal in the air and land that way. He was okay, so it was kind of interesting to witness.

The hubby and I usually enjoy playing "celebrity airport", where we try to pick people out who look like celebrites. LOL!(I think Jay Leno used to do that, too)

Ann Roth said...

Wow, Jennifer. I'm glad that guy was okay.

Love your celebrity airport game. (I never stay up late enough to watch Leno). I think I'll try that with my hubby next time. :-)

Estella said...

I have seen numerous husband and wife fights/arguments in airports.
Usually they are about almost missing the plane.

Ann Roth said...

Estella- Isn't it interesting how stress can turn the most kind and patient of people into snarling beasts? :-)

Trish Milburn said...

This is also true of my Amtrak trips since I don't like to fly. It's interesting on the long trips since if you're traveling alone you often end up eating meals at the same tables with strangers. I've met some interesting people that way.

Ann Roth said...

Trish- I love that part about traveling. You make friends, if only for a brief time, because you're traveling.

Lily said...

I only see people crying and clinging to each other.. very pathetic, sometimes a bit romantic!

Ann Roth said...

You're right, Lily! Those moments tug my heartstrings big-time.

Lily said...

I am glad I am not the only one :)