Wednesday, November 7, 2018

My Favorite Places to People Watch by Keely Brooke Keith

One of a writer’s best tools is the art of people watching. Here are some of my favorite places to people watch:

Airports
Songwriter John Mayer nailed this one in his song Wheel: “Airports see it all the time where someone’s last goodbye blends in with someone’s sigh cause someone’s coming home.” Airports are a parade of human experience. It’s in the pastor praying over departing missionaries, the businesswoman stomping toward her gate and the rhythm of her suitcase wheels rolling behind her on the tile floor, and the soldier’s welcome home kiss with his wife who is holding their newborn.

Malls
Not quite as dramatic in emotional depth, but bubbling with frustration, chaos, and teen angst, a shopping mall is a like a catalog of human features. The faces range from the overwhelmed mommy who brought the double stroller but neither of her toddlers will stay in it, to the Botoxed suburbanite dashing from Macy’s to Banana Republic, to the senior citizens in arch-supporting sneakers power walking their daily laps.

Churches
A tour of several church denominations is necessary for the full scope of church people watching. Every church has its own culture and feel, but I’ve noticed some commonalities in the sanctuary pre-service. Watch the pastor’s wife, flustered as she wrangles her four children into the second pew from the front, suddenly straighten her posture and broaden her smile when the congregants start to arrive. Watch the early birds who sit in their routine seats, sigh with contentment, and absorb the peace. Watch the middle-aged man who slips into the room halfway through the service, perches on the edge of the back pew, and drops his face into his hands.

If you’re a writer, go people watching for inspiration. If you’re a reader, download my new book Uncharted Journey, and see if you enjoy how my hobby of people watching enlivens my writing.


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Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely Brooke Keith was a tree-climbing, baseball-loving 80s kid. She grew up in a family who moved often, which fueled her dreams of faraway lands. When she isn’t writing, Keely enjoys teaching home school lessons and playing bass guitar. Keely, her husband, and their daughter live on a hilltop south of Nashville, Tennessee.

Uncharted Journey
Young widow Eva Vestal assumes loneliness is God’s permanent plan for her life. She keeps busy by raising her son and co-managing the Inn at Falls Creek with her elderly father, but her heart yearns for more.

Solomon “Solo” Cotter has spent his life working with horses, but he secretly wants to write a book of the children’s stories his grandfather told him as a boy. He barters with Eva’s father for a 40-night stay at the inn, a needed respite from work to get his stories on paper.

Once Eva discovers the barter, she believes Solo is taking advantage of her father’s failing memory. But when tragedy strikes and Solo works hard to save the inn, Eva sees his true nature. As her heart stirs with feelings for Solo, she wrestles with the guilt of loving someone new.

Meanwhile, outside the Land...

Bailey Colburn arrives at the coordinates of the Land on the autumn equinox and finds nothing but ocean. The sun sets, ending Bailey’s dream of a safe and simple life with the family she’s never known. Just when she decides Justin Mercer lied about visiting a hidden land in the South Atlantic Ocean and meeting Bailey’s distant relatives, the atmosphere around the boat changes and ushers her into an uncharted world, but her entrance into the Land comes at a devastating price.

Book Links:
Signed paperback copies available here.
Uncharted Journey is available on Amazon.
Add Uncharted Journey to your Goodreads shelf here.

4 comments:

  1. We go to a little town in the mountains and sit on a park bench facing the busy main street, eat ice cream, and people watch. I won't tell where it is, because I don't want to make people paranoid. Or maybe I am by not telling? :)

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    1. Sandra, small towns are the best! So many great characters.

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  2. I love to watch people. Sitting in the car in a parking lot is a great opportunity to see how people act in their daily lives. I'm not nosy, just enjoy people watching. :-)

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    1. Melissa, so true. We're not nosy, just writers :) People in parking lots can be so interesting to watch. Especially when they forget where they parked ;)

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