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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Tuesday
Jul172001

people-watching




[Updated 4:38 pm] Received a nice e-mail about Inkspot today from Kimn Swenson Gollnick of The Write Place:




I never made the time to write to you when Inkspot was online, and I owe you an apology. I just discovered the horrible news that Inkspot is gone. I've been a long, long, long-time fan and subscriber to your e-newsletter, and I'm stunned. I†missed the final issue and just discovered it as I spent a few minutes going through my in-box.



Finding out Inkspot is gone is like saying the White House was shut down. Seriously. I never thought it would be gone, given the exceptional quality it offered to writers everywhere, at every level of skill. I'm sorry to see it go.



Interestingly enough, I've got a copy of your Online Markets book, and have enjoyed going through it looking for new markets. Congratulations on a well-organized book. You did a wonderful job.



I'll keep my eyes out for your byline, on the Internet and in the bookstores. May God bless you as you have been a blessing to so many others!








Today's entry is part of a collaboration project for On Display. This month's topic is "people-watching".


It is Saturday. Jeff and I are sitting on a cement wall separating Harbourfront Centre (or "Center", for you Americans) from the lake. We have spent the past hour wandering along the lakeshore, munching roasted corn on the cob and hot dogs, watching the sailboats out on the water. On the stage, a Latin band has launched into a perky salsa. The more enthusiastic members of the audience are up on their feet dancing, shuffling in small steps, trying not to bump each other.


Just a few feet away, a tourist sightseeing boat is anchored by the dock, festooned with balloons and well-dressed 30-40ish-looking party-goers. Jeff and I have decided to figure out what kind of party it is; it's our people-watching goal today. We like to do this sort of thing every once in a while, especially at restaurants. As I get back more into my fiction-writing, I find myself slipping into people-watching mode more and more often.


"People-watching" is a different sort of activity than merely "watching people". It requires greater concentration and analytical skills, plus a great deal of creativity (especially if your subjects aren't really doing anything interesting :-)).





Take the tourist boat, for example. A corporate party, perhaps? Too well-dressed for a casual get-together of friends but, hm, there's also a lot of hugging and air-kissing going on. One woman seems to be doing most of the hugging and kissing; she must be the guest of honour. But wait! People aren't giving their presents to her, they're putting them on a table on the boat. Maybe she's the party organizer.


A wedding, perhaps? No...presents are too small. And besides (big clue), there doesn't seem to be a groom. By now, Jeff and I are aware of the Latin band's perky salsa becoming an annoyingly loud and monotonous salsa. We are tempted to leave, but want to figure out the un-wedding party first. Besides, three young girls in skin-tight clothing are now dancing on the dock, showing hip-hop and Latin moves off to each other and appreciative passing boats. They are actually pretty good.


Aha...new development in the un-wedding party. A few people have come running up to the boat, and their arrival causes a flurry of excitement among those already present. Jeff theorizes it's a surprise party, and these are lookouts with news of the impending arrival of the guest of honour. I notice someone carrying a bunch of balloons with the number "30" on them.


A creepy-looking guy has wandered up to watch the dancing girls on the dock. They stop dancing, pick up their bags, and wander off to find another performance venue.





Finally, the birthday girl arrives. Accompanied by a man (husband?) and younger girl (sister?), she stops in shock as everyone on the boat waves at her, grinning and yelling. Someone hands her the bunch of balloons, and she is escorted onto the boat. More hugging and air-kissing. Yay, Jeff and I can finally leave! Good thing...the salsa band is REALLY starting to get on my nerves.


Updates/News:


Andrea's t-shirt captions are up at Zen Cappucino. To Clif, Paul, Chris, Dave, and Steve Simmons...I will have my revenge someday. :-)


New Waiting For Frodo strip online.


Today's Blatherpics:


- Statue of Glenn Gould that Jeff and I encountered on our walk. I resisted a terrible urge to sit on the bench and make moony-eyes at him.


- Line-up of rickshaws in front of Planet Hollywood on Front Street.


- Satisfying culmination of our people-watching session.




Feel free to suggest a daily poll question.


Today's Poll: (Courtesy Amanda Snyder)

Do you like surprise parties?

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