The one scary trait we writers have is our observance power. We see things other people don't see. To them those things are minuscule, invisible, to us they're magnified, screaming to be written into a story.
There was a Spanish-speaking family on the plane to Moscow. The father was tall and fierce, a dominating patriarch. He shoved his grown sons around, covertly, only giving them a nudge but with such hidden force they moved instantly. The younger, a teenager, sat next to me. I observed with the cringe of recognition the survival technique he adopted—he was silent and looked as though nothing disturbed him. The father barked at him, a huge cross with Jesus Christ swinging from his chest, and the son didn't even flinch. He just had this passive blank look on his face. I remember those times. It was the survival technique I used. Whatever was done to me didn't bother me in the slightest. That was my power.Read More