Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Jean Adams!


Have you ever considered spending a day at your local airport. I mean really spend the day.

I work at an airport help desk. It's a small airport by some standards, granted, but an airport nevertheless. Basically they are all the same.

Full of wonderful stories.

You'd need to pick your best spots, but what a wealth of human interest stories you'll find there, ready to fill your thick writing pad, fed by your fertile imagination and taken down by a bundle of well sharpened pencils.

Take Departures for instance.

I get to watch the lovers holding each other tearfully in each others' arms as they say goodbye. They kiss. They hug. They cling. One flies out, leaving the other behind, desolate. My tears, surreptitious, of course, join theirs.

But wait. Is the one left behind crying nothing but crocodile tears? What if they had someone else waiting in the wings? How would that story pan out.

Scribble. Scribble.

I get to watch families bidding a fond farewell to a family member as they travel overseas. Maybe the traveller is a student, leaving home for the first time. What would they be studying; where would they be studying; is it likely to be dangerous?

Some passengers will stand and talk to me. I can tell they're nervous flyers. Some are simply lonely with no one to see them off. Why? What happened in their life?

After a traumatic morning in Departures, you can have a little light lunch. But hey, you don't stop working. Travellers have to eat as well. Pick a busy spot to sit and keep scribbling.

The Arrivals hall will give you another wealth of ideas. This is where you'll see the faces full of joy and happiness, the husbands/lovers with bunches of flowers, usually red roses, greeting incoming wives or loves, hopefully not the same woman. Now there's an idea! LOL

Maybe fans are greeting someone famous. I've seen my share.

The hugs and kisses are different here. They are lighter. More exuberant. More welcoming. What do they have planned tonight?

At an airport you can people-watch; body language, facial expressions. As one TV programme used to say, I think it was The Naked City, "all human life is there".

If you want to see life, spend the day at your local airport.

It's perfect for writers.

But you don't need me to tell you that.

Visit Jean at her website -- it's truly a lovely site.


Ceri said...

I've been to the airport twice recently and thought the same thing. So many stories in one building. Thanks for sharing!

Dru said...

Thanks for sharing your airport stories. That's one of the reasons I love going to the airport alone and at least 2 hours before my flight because there's so much to see, hear and explore.

Diane Craver said...

Glad it's a great resource for your writing, Jean! Great post and I visited your site. I like it - very nice.

Judy Thomas said...

I heard someone say once that an airport is a small city...never really sleeping. A microcosm of the universe. Thanks for the reminder.

It was nice visiting with you off to visit with you at home :-)

Patty L. said...

I love airports and until last year I had only ever been to see people off or pick up. When I flew for the first time I got to follow the "stories" onto the plane and saw what happens after the tearful goodbye. It was great.

Dena said...

Hi Jean,
I love to people watch and for a writer I can see that your job is perfect for just that. Although I can also imagine it wouldn't be so wonderful at a big airport like Sea-Tac. The times I've been there it's so hectic. A place that's great to people watch in Seattle is Pioneer Square, it's full of characters.

Amy Addison said...

What great inspiration to be found in an airport! I love to people watch, so this was right up my alley. Thanks.

Melissa said...

I've done so much writing in airports. I used to work for United. Truly you can find inspiration every time you turn your head.

When I was a freshman in college, flying home for Christmas, I remember my RA and I making up stories about the various people. I recall one business man. I can seem him so clearly. No doubt he was a KGB agent on his way from San Francisco with Top Secret information that would be used topple the financial security of our nation (This was in the early 80's!).

Brandy said...

I'm a people watcher but not a writer. Even then I still find the airport fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

Karen H in NC said...

Interesting blog. Sort of reminds me of an A&E TV program called 'Airline'. I really liked that program but alas, it's no longer on the air (no pun intended). It was about Southwest Airlines employees in various parts of the country and the problems they faced each day just doing their jobs. Sometimes good, sometimes bad but always interesting.

Caffey said...

Hi, I'm Cathie and so thrilled to be here. I love to chat anything books!
I'm a reader and I too have to have a book wherever I go! I always have them for doctor appointments, especially with so many lately. It really has the time fly and I get to enjoy it when it does.

Interesting on writing at the airport! What kind of tools you use to write? I assume using notebooks or laptops? I've gone to wait for those I picked up at airport (but not to fly, I'm not good at that, I feel sorry for the last person who said they'd help me get through a flight, I wonder if their hands broke from me squeezing them!). I can though imagine all you see there with the coming and going and too those working there. Great post!

Chris said...

Well, I can't say that I've really people-watched in the airport. Each time I've been there it's been so hectic, and more noisy than others as we have slot machines in ours!

I have, however sat in the mall and watched the people go by. Who are they? Which store will they wander into? What are they getting? There are so many things that happen in a mall that have nothing to do with shopping: a dance troupe performing because the venue is free, voter registration, voting, and so much more.

Thanks for this, it really got me thinking... and what could be better than that?

groovyoldlady said...

Great idea, although the Bangor airport, which only has 3 gates might be rather hit or miss!