What’s a fun way to learn about individuals? Perhaps by asking them to list the books they’ve read. Or, even better, to read the books they’ve written. Even though we authors may revel in our fiction (allowing our characters to act in ways we’d never dare), still, there are ways to delve into the likes and dislikes of someone by reading between the lines.
Here’s an example through my innocuous flash fiction, below, based on a set of questions I was asked when nominated last week for the Real Neat Blog Award by Darlene (a real neat blogger). The questions are included at the bottom of this post.
Spring is blooming toward summer, and I am zooming off to meet my girlfriends in San Francisco for a long weekend. Rose will be there, as well as Daisy, Iris, and Lily.
For the sake of anonymity on these trips (in case we girls get a bit too crazy, which has happened in the city where hearts are left), we go by our flower names. You know, the names we would have selected if our moms asked us before we were born.
I am Pansy.
Ivy picks me up at SFO, holding out a warm slice of spinach, tomato, and mozzarella pizza. She’s the most generous one of the group; because she lives in the Bay area, she picks each of us up at the airport with our favorite savory snack in hand.
The mouth-watering concoction revives me from my long flight. “I could scoop you up like ice cream,” I proclaim, licking the tomato sauce from my fingers.
“Oh, don’t worry,” Ivy smiles. “That’s next. Chocolate chip mint, right?”
I nod, remembering our last girls’ weekend, when we visited a different ice cream shop up and down the Ocean City boardwalk last summer. A guilty pleasure we keep to ourselves.
“But don’t forget,” I remind Ivy, “we decided that on this trip, less ice cream and more walking up and down the streets of San Francisco.”
Ivy grimaces, “I know, I know. Particularly since Rose and Lily are counting calories.”
“Frankly, dear, I don’t give a damn,” I retort. “On these getaways, we don’t count calories, we swear as often as we want, we don’t wash our hair every day, and we flirt with any man under the age of 90.” I let out a big whoop.
Ivy laughs. “Stop doing your Scarlett O’Hara impression. I was just joking.”
I hit Ivy’s arm playfully and watch the sailboats glide across the San Francisco Bay. Ahhh, life is really neat.
- What is your favorite season and why?
- If you were given a plane ticket to visit any place in the world, where would you go?
- What is your favorite savory food? sweet food?
- If you could change your first name, what would it be?
- If you could be a character in a book, which one would you choose and why?
- What is your one guilty pleasure?
- If you could be any kitchen utensil, what would it be and why?
Are you willing to let me know you a bit better? I dare you to answer this question:
If you could be a character in a book, who would you be?