The most common question people ask me is why I became an author. I never have a satisfactory response to this query. The truth is I haven’t been certain of the answer until today.
Once or twice a week I take an early morning bike ride around the lake not far from our house. And when I say early, I mean early. Sunrise. I ride along bike paths from my home to the lake and back again. It’s a round trip of 22 kilometres. It’s peaceful and relaxing and allows me the solitude and time to reflect on the present, the future and, of course, my novels.
|The view from my bike seat|
But it struck me this morning that I enjoy the excursion for one other reason – the peek I get into other peoples’ lives.
As I ride by the homes that back onto the bike paths I glance into the window of a townhouse and see a middle-aged woman in a faded dressing gown, staring seriously into an open fridge as though the contents will provide her with the meaning she’s been seeking.
In another house I spy an elderly woman in a comfy recliner. She is watching television, the early news I guess. There’s an expression of severe consternation on her face. It’s not even six, yet she’s already dressed in a skirt, blouse and lace-up shoes. Hot rollers cover her head. I muse on the possibilities. Where is she heading today and what news story has concerned her so?
In another home a man pounds away on a treadmill that’s situated in his living room. A woman, his wife I presume, sits straight-backed at a table drinking coffee. There’s a newspaper in front of her. The living room overlooks the lake and I find myself wondering why he is not running outdoors. Agoraphobia? Ornithophobia?
I know, it all seems a bit creepy. It’s a bad habit, I admit. But don’t worry, I’m not gawking through key holes or drilling peep holes in walls … yet.
So that’s the answer, I suppose. Why did I become an author? I simply like creating stories about people. As my legs turn the bike pedals I am working out my creativity as well as my body. And perhaps one day during a ride I’ll see something I can turn into a nifty premise for a novel.