Busybodies Anonymous or Inquiring Authors Want to Know

I live in Las Vegas, a great place to people watch. I don’t do this downtown on the Strip or in hotels or casinos. I do it in my apartment in the suburbs.

Are my chubby cheeks pressed against the front window? Do I have a pair of binoculars trained on the deck across the street? No. But I’ve been known to lift a corner of a curtain and peer outside if something is out of place or stirs my imagination.

I write books and I’m always looking for a good story. Living here is like being in a mine with a lot of pyrite, but the possibility of a vein of gold just around the corner.

There’s a middle-aged man with Alaska plates on his car. He lives across the street and walks a Rottweiler twice a day. He doesn’t work, rarely leaves the house, but is friendly enough to speak to us if we’re out walking. Is he hiding? On the run? Does he need protection? Methinks a story is here.

The woman across the hall drives a Nevada Search and Rescue vehicle. She’s got tons of stories if I could ever pin her down. But her hours are sporadic so I smile and wave when I see her and imagine what her life must be like.

I met the young couple who live behind us when they moved in. I’ve seen them only once in three months. Capt. Mark says, “Maybe they’re newlyweds.” Really? That often? Even someone who writes romance novels believes there’s a limit to…well…romance. I’ve decided they must work on a cruise ship and rent the apartment to have a land base.

And then there’s the hot single woman in the three-bedroom unit. Ms. Mystery. When she first moved in she had a teenaged boy and a pre-teen girl with her. An older lady in a shiny new black Cadillac (grandma?) moved them out. A woman with many male visitors, hottie’s current roommate is a tall, muscular guy who, on the day he moved in, walked into our apartment by mistake, thinking it was hers. Hmm. Pole dancer? Cocktail waitress? Hooker?

There is definitely a story here and I am itching to write it.

In a few weeks we will be moving out of the apartment. Our new neighbors will be senior citizens. My desk will look out at a street that doesn’t even have parked cars. Until then my finger will silently move the curtain aside while I watch the little dramas going on around me.

Then I’ll turn in my Busybodies Anonymous card and get down to actual writing.

6 thoughts on “Busybodies Anonymous or Inquiring Authors Want to Know”

  1. LOL! Must run in the family. I still remember Mimi standing at the window peering through a slit in the curtains keeping an eye on the neighborhood. She sure kept us all well-informed as to everybody’s business. And I still remember her yelling at us when a religious organization or sales person would come to the door “ get down and be quiet!” I remember mom from the time I was little looking out the window with her binoculars. when she passed away we kept the binoculars by the window just in case and I smile whenever I see them ! Surely you’ll find a story at your next home too. Keep watching!!

  2. Have a Moving On party and invite all of these mystery neighbors. Get them to tell you their stories. You may discover their lives are not as exciting as you imagined.

  3. The way our house is arranged we can’t see the street unless we stand outside. However some friends nearby have a neighbor that has us all wondering what is up. That house, built 2 years ago and looks expensive, has a 6 car garage in front with a house big enough to match. And next to a backyard driveway every night is a camper with someone inside watching TV, like some sort of guard. But what is most interesting is the 18-20 trash cans each week on trash day. Did I mention the only human seen is the guy in the camper?
    Luxury Meth lab?

    And then there is our next door neighbor. Keven teaches at Marco Forrester. Something about helping students whose parents never attended collage. Ilse and Roy Byrnes have a live in caregiver, Nidia and her 2 teenage kids living with them. So thinking they attend Ambuel, I told her about Keven. Turns out the kids go to Marco and she not only knows him, she adores him. He got her kids on track to collage along with some other issues. Small world.

    • The big house might be a grow house–you never know. But my imagination runs wild when I hear about your weird neighbor. The teacher, however, sounds delightful. Glad Ilse and Roy have some help.

  4. This made me chuckle! I find myself doing this from time to time, making up my own stories about what’s going on! Keep letting your imagination run wild. I’m sure you will find something entertaining to observe in your new neighborhood!


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