Inspiration on the go: ride the bus

Bus stop sign

TheBus Stop Sign


Some people will turn up their noses at using public transportation. I, on the other had, feel comfortable taking TheBus. Back in Lima, in my childhood days, car ownership was for the few. Everybody I knew took busses, “micros” (micro busses) or taxis. When I landed on this island, I was happy to see that there was a bus system (and it’s a good one too) and I’ve taken advantage of it ever since.
There are obvious pros and cons of riding public transportation, but as a writer, I think it is a definite pro because who knows, the model, the prototype for your next character might get on your bus. And so that’s what I sometimes do on the bus, I observe people. I notice their tattoos, the color of their nail polish, the carving of their walking stick, the purple swath in their hair as well as the half dozen rings on their fingers or the dirt under their nails. One time, I found myself seating across a young man, long blonde hair, short beard and eyes with a look that seemed out of a sepia-toned photograph. In fact, I thought, “This guy must’ve walked out of a Civil War era picture.” He just needed the uniform. If I had a romance novel, I definitely would want him on the cover. I didn’t pull out my camera to take his picture. I think that would’ve been rude, but I “filed” him in my head. One day, if I’m in need of a haunted, tragic-looking handsome hero, he would be him. I don’t have to imagine his looks. I’ve seen it in the flesh, and he was riding the bus.

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