First, I’m always on the lookout for new words (new to me, that is) to use in my writing someday. Yesterday I added “flumped” and “clots” to my list just because they made me smile.
I also collect phrases–mostly from listening to my quit-witted husband. I keep a small spiral pad with me at all times. When he speaks, I take notes. (It’s not really stealing if it’s common property; we are ONE after all.)
Unfortunately, he does not provide this service on demand. He says, “I have no idea when something useful will float to the surface of the muck and mire. You just have to take what you get.” Watching his mind work is pure genius . . . and a little bit strange.
I also eavesdrop on conversations–in restaurants, at church, while shopping, at meetings. Some might accuse me of being nosey; without hesitation, I admit I am guilty.
People-watching is kin to eavesdropping, but you can do that from afar. My husband calls it “rubbernecking;” I call it research. Many of my characters have been dressed in the get-ups I’ve seen while walking through a public place.
Then there are my co-workers, friends and family. When my book Party of One is published, many might recognize a few of their own quirks and characteristics. (I do hope they will forgive me.) And they will all recognize mine.