The research trip is over, but my thoughts continue to search out more details about my characters…especially my male character.  I remember what my brief run-in with the guy at medical made me feel, how quickly he got under my skin, but his specific looks and features have become fuzzy.  I’m not trying to find a replicate of him. I want to find the inspiration for the character I’ve created, which is why I’ve been busily searching for inspiration to make him more real.

So even in the madness of my transition back to the States, these last couple of weeks, I’ve been on the lookout for inspiration everywhere: at the gym, on television, magazines, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Nothing was clicking until a totally unanticipated and incredibly surreal encounter at the airport, the day I flew back to the States.

He sat at the end of a wide open row so I took a sit a few seats down from him.  He was busy writing on a notepad.  He certainly caught my attention. He was tall, at least 6ft, broad shoulders, thick legs that showed even through his stylish jeans, short brown hair, but not the Marine Corps style I’ve grown accustomed to, green eyes and a beautiful smile, which he displayed when we made eye contact.  He was probably in his late 20s, early 30s. I couldn’t tell if he was American or European. He was handsome in a wholesome and approachable kind of way.

He continued to write on his notepad and I decided to break out my Writer’s Digest magazine. I needed to do something to keep from continuing to check him out, but more importantly, to keep my mind from thinking about my departure from Germany.  I didn’t want to start crying again.  I spent the morning crying saying good-byes to everyone.

To my complete surprise, the magazine turned into an opening piece for him to start a conversation.  He asked if I was a writer, and eventually proceeded to share how he was considering writing a book as well.  It got really surreal once I found out he was a SOF guy. There I was, having a conversation about writing with a guy who could literally jump off the very pages, I have yet to write.

Our conversation was paused when we boarded the plane and picked back up once we landed in Frankfurt.  As we sat by his gate, I took a risk and told him about my story, to include how the story came about, hoping I might be able to enlist his help with my character development. He listened, admitted the genre wasn’t exactly his thing (as in not at all), and wondered why I selected a Navy Seal and not an Army SOF guy, but he agreed to help the best he could. I wish we’d had more time to talk, but he needed to clear TSA before getting on his flight. He was flying to D.C. which apparently requires a whole lot more security checks. We exchanged emails and I also shared the NaNoWrimo website with him. I left and headed to my gate.

He was on my mind during my flight. The guy I ran into at medical made eye contact, smiled, and gave me the infamous wave that got my head spinning into romantic storytelling. Now, after the encounter with airport guy, it makes me believe he probably would have more in common with him, then other SOF guys I’ve met, or conjured up in my imagination.

I emailed him the next day since I’m not one to waste any time, but I also figured, if I waited too long – I would never contact him.  I’m not sure I’ll hear back from him. I don’t know if the whole happenstance encounter, once he thinks it over, won’t be a little too weird. No matter what, even in the brief time together, he gave me some things to think about and options to consider for my male character.

Hopefully I’ll hear from him and somehow work through explaining how I’d like him to be the inspiration for my character. I can’t tell if these types of requests are flattering or just creepy.  If someone asked me and he was serious about it – I’d be up for it, but I don’t creep out easily, plus I guess I would understand what he’s trying to achieve.

Guess we’ll see what happens. I have to first hear back from him.