If the Playfriends are together, no matter what we're doing, the conversation usually involves books. The ones we're writing, the ones we're reading, the ones that are giving us fits... it blends seamlessly through the rest of the conversation that might touch on kids, husbands, jobs, and of course, goats (and gerbils, now).
We plot a lot. Sometimes we get together and do it deliberately. Other times it pops up in the discussion when one of us runs into an issue. This was my weekend to have an issue. In the edits of my book, I realized I needed another subplot, another shady character to threaten and confuse. For the life of me, I had nothing. I was tossing around a couple things, but nothing clicked. Within three minutes of us talking, I had it nailed. It clicked. I love that.
It went something like this:
"I need another bad guy."
"Like a bad guy, bad guy?"
"No, just a kinda bad guy who isn't the bad guy, but could be."
"Who's the real bad guy again?"
"The good guy."
"Oh yeah. Does he have to be a vampire?"
"No. I'd really rather it be a human."
"What about a drug dealer?"
"I actually do have a drug dealer in the book."
"I like the drug dealer idea. That could work for you."
"Yeah, but he has to be a big time dealer. Not the streetcorner guy."
"Ok, I can do that. What does he want?"
"He wants what the hero has."
"Ooohhh... he could be blackmailing him."
"Yes, he turned him down, but then he found out about the heroine and is threatening to turn them in."
"That's good. Whew. Finally. Hand me a biscuit."
Now, that conversation made perfect sense to me, but I'm sure the people sitting in the booth behind us at the restaurant where it took place were probably confused. Especially when the underground "drugs for blood" topic came up.
Sitting by "civilians" while plotting is always dangerous. At any one time, we could be discussing how to kill someone, the legal implications of a marriage of convenience, whether its lye or lime that's used to disintegrate a corpse, a variety of sexual positions or situations, or how one accidentally gets married. Its not uncommon to hear one of us say "What about a dead baby?" or "I didn't know you could do that with buttercream icing." We've gotten more than one weird looks from waiters that approach the table just as one of us says "But is it really infidelity if she slept with the other guy while she was possessed by a demon?"
Suffice to say, we always try to be seated away from the general population, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. What about you? Have you ever overheard a disturbing conversation and wondered who, exactly, you were sitting near? Ever frightened your waiter or gotten strange looks from people around you?