Tuesday, August 16, 2016


This weekend I went to a Summer’s Night Festival held downtown in my area. Thousands attended, making it quite an evening of people watching, which is something I love to do. As an individual strolled past me, I found myself evaluating them as a character in one of my books, and I started to imagine how I’d build their profile.

 Our Creator, a Master character builder and author of life, cannot be duplicated. His outlining for humanity, of course, is varied beyond anything I could conjure up. But I took notes anyway.
Those passing me were tall, short, slim, and thick around the middle, as well as pear-shaped, squatty and stocky. Some had long noses, others small, some pug, some hooked, and some with wide nostrils or bumpy shafts. Long hair, short hair, no hair at all . . . straight, curly, in braids, dread-locks, or twisted into buns (even the men, as we now have some guys wearing their hair up in man-buns). Dark haired people, light haired people, even purple, green, pink, and orange haired people walked around the festival grounds.

Some people wore dresses or skirts; some were in shorts, many in blue jeans, and others in some of the craziest, most unique outfits you could imagine. Those who visited the face-painting vendor had their faces done up as cats, one a dragon, another as a devil, and many had unusual markings and designs painted upon their foreheads and cheeks.

Their food preferences ranged from fried dough to porta-bello sandwiches. And each and every one carried their drinks in different containers . . . ranging from bottles to specially-capped mugs of all colors and sizes.

They were bare-footed, in flip-flops, high heels, boots, clogs, moccasins, and sandals. A few even stayed comfortable by wearing only their slippers. And as this parade of humanity crossed my path I watched their facial expressions while they viewed their surrounds. I heard their voices as they spoke to a family member or friend. Their attitude and demeanors had me forming profiles, life-situations, and outlooks for them . . . my character imaginings working at a “full-speed-ahead” capacity. Many plots in stories are ripped from the headlines. Characters can be fashioned after those surrounding us. I enjoyed the festival, as the food was good, the music was great, and the firework display was beautiful. But it was the people who really made me smile. And I’ve stored away enough characters to fill many novels. Not bad for a night’s work!

Roberta C.M. DeCaprio

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