This week I practiced stalking somebody.
Okay, not stalking. More like “researching.” Since I’ve wanted to do Layla training in the search/ track down/ observe department, I chose a guy who done me wrong on a professional level a while back and I hadn’t seen for a while.
So I dug up basic facts about him. Saw what his neighborhood is like. His work history. His car. But I’ve yet to establish if he keeps a regular schedule at his new office, which is a shabby dump compared to the firm where he used to be. (Was he forced out of that firm?) But I failed to get his license plates number because I was too worried that he would turn around and see me. Layla would have had more presence of mind.
Anyway, practicing some detective work is fun. My next game-plan is… Disguise.
Seriously, the last time I tried on anything resembling a disguise I was twelve years old, it was Halloween, and I wore my homemade ghost costume. I am SO not a costume-loving lady. I even get weirded out at the notion of, say, just wearing a wig, glasses, different make-up and strange clothes in public.
Yet not only would Layla be good at it, my character Charity MacCay envies famous women of her time who were spies in the Civil War or detectives for the Pinkerton Agency; they could wear fantastic disguises and even pass themselves off as male soldiers. In one chapter, Charity has to save herself by dressing as a young sailor boy, which isn’t easy considering her bosom, she’s proud to point out. Me, I wouldn’t have that problem.
Funny how as writers we create characters who are experts at derring-do, but some such skills make us cringe. I mean, I’ve put myself through grueling physical stunts and training (YOU try Parkour classes with hyperactive teenage boys), but when it comes to something minor that challenges our comfort zone, we can wimp out.
Well, it’s time I stopped wimping out on the Art of Disguise. I’m going to put together a couple fake physical identities and then force myself to try them out in real life. It is gonna feel so weird.
I’d love to know if any of you have similar inhibitions or other challenges that you just… can’t… face.
Have a wonderful week.