Yep, it's been awhile since I posted anything here. I would say I've been busy, but, you know, everybody's busy, or appears to be. So I'll say that I've had more pressing issues than writing a blog post, including a big party this past weekend. Yes, some of the pressing things are fun as well as time consuming. I've been making an effort to have more fun because what with my 9-to-5 job and house cleaning and writing and quilting, my life can get very drudgy. [I just made up that word; so don't look it up].
Actually being able to make up my own words (or change words, like drudge into drudgy) is one of my favorite things about writing fiction. I also love telling and hearing stories. Saturday night, at the party, I made people tell funny stories about themselves. Yes, alcohol was involved. So it was quite entertaining. Doing such gives me a plethora of ideas for not just stories, but emotions and facial expressions and reactions. As with reading, talking or eavesdropping should be a regular occurrence in a writer's schedule. Eavesdropping is even better, if you can sit and watch/listen unnoticed.
I even have several of my friends intentionally eavesdropping now. We'll be at a restaurant, and one of them will say something along the lines of I think the couple at table X must be arguing, check out the body language or the girl at table Y looks like she's going to cry. And so on. The comment will start a line of speculation and eventually someone will pose a story about what's going on. Sometimes the story involves a blind date, especially if the couple seems awkward with the situation. Maybe another couple, she's breaking up with him, or vice-versa. Maybe one is twisting his/her wedding ring. Potential admission of an affair? Maybe? But the best couple to watch is two old people who don't talk to each other over dinner. They obviously have been married too long and have nothing else to say. But their facial expression and body movements say so much about what they're thinking or eating or drinking.
So make sure you closely observe the people around you. You don't have to talk to them, but you should watch and listen. There's a wealth of information out there just waiting for someone to pay attention.