Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Oh, the Places You'll Go! (Part I of III)

This morning, two of my kids and I ran errands all over Charlotte. I drove down several roads and took routes that were out of the ordinary for me, just by virtue of where we ended up in the city. As we went on our way, some unique store signs caught my attention.

"Situations" was the name of a bar on Tryon Street. Now THAT was a strange name of the pub. My author persona immediately asked, "What kind of situations happen at this pub?" Bar fights? Happy Hour? A place where two people find their respective soulmates? The site of a covert operation?

"Pet Store: The Last Place on Earth". No joke, that was the sign in front of the store. Why was it the 'last place on earth'? It specializes in otherworldly companions? If you can't find it on Earth, you'll find it there? It has an underground bunker, in case the world comes to an end, with enough supplies for Man's Best Friend too?

On our way to the used bookstore on Central Avenue, we drove through Plaza-Midwood, an area of historic houses. One house sported stone lions at the door, another had a huge rock face in the front yard. Think Easter Island statue. A white picket face encircled another house, and a fourth house looked like a huge castle painted yellow, complete with turrets and white trim. I almost expected to see a suit of armor on that front porch.

The way home was just as interesting. Charlotte has a railyard just outside Uptown, and there's an overpass that gives you a clear view of the trains, the tracks and the various buildings in Uptown, including Bank of America and Wachovia. The contrast between the old and the new was pretty striking. Aging, rusting train cars with the sleek, glass-enclosed bank headquarters.

Go out and see what's out around you. You might find the setting of your new writing project or have the spark of a new plot.

All writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2010

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