Friday, September 21, 2012

Finding Stories Wherever You Go

Soon, Ken and I are heading to Kansas City for the annual Plaza Art Fair. This juried show gets around 1500 applications from artists around the nation. The judges whittle it down to 240 who are  then invited to participate. Rated as one of the 5 top art shows in the USA, there's something for everyone from a print for only $20 to an original piece of art costing thousands.

Football games here keep us from attending every year, but when this great event falls on a week-end when K-State plays an away game, we go with eager anticipation. Besides the artists' tents, there are 3 music stages and booths offering food from 27 restaurants. The weather is predicted to be perfect!

As much as I enjoy all the fair has to offer, I also love to people-watch. Many bring their dogs along, and I'm always amazed at how well the dogs do with the big crowd. It's also fun to see who has what kind of dog. There will be thousands of stories all around us that day, but a handful will truly stand out and be filed away in my memory bank to be used when writing a story someday. When you attend one of these 'crowd' events, use your senses to find which people will be the most interesting. Listen to tidbits of conversation, look at how they are dressed, sniff the air when they pass for lingering scents (or maybe odors). Better leave the taste and touch senses for something else or you might get arrested.

Later in the day, we'll drive south of the city to our daughter's home where we'll have dinner with her, our son-in-law, and our two youngest grandchildren. Jordan has a birthday coming up soon, number 9, so we'll have a little family celebration. She's a cheerleader this fall for the 3rd grade football team. They have a game at 8 p.m. that night. Strange time for a little kids' ballgame, but maybe I'll go along and watch Jordan cheer and see what kind of stories there might be in that smaller crowd.

We'll get back to their home in time to see most of the last half of the K-State game on TV. There are always stories for me when I watch a game. Sometimes, it's me that is the story as I get a little carried away when we play especially well or absolutely awful. It's going to be a tough game and one I'm not sure we can win. Oklahoma is #6 and K-State #15 right now. Both good teams but only one is going to go home happy. Two stories right there.

Trust me--you can find stories and/or characters for your stories everywhere you go. All you have to do is look.

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