There is supposed to be a meeting tonight; however, the writer's group is taking a summer vacation so it'll be a quiet night in Frappucinoland. I can sit in a corner and transcribe the kind of wildlife that shuffles through the shelves. I can string the plastic words together along the rubber phrases, snap my observations against my wrist, and see how closely they match.
They probably won't and there will be plenty of give in their phrasing. I'm not a close observer in terms of structure. I'm distracted by color and motion. One of the things I admire in the novels that I read is the way that others can bring multiple characters together in story lines that seem to come from the characters' own proclivities. Even when a story like Divine Misfortune threatens to turn on a joke or meander through a scene, you can feel the way the characters are shaping each piece. The structure is there and lets the plot flash and spark without burning down or dragging.
Wish I could do that, you know?
Except that then I wouldn't get to enjoy it at the end. When I slip beneath the surface of a novel, I sometimes want to bring a piece of what I found back up with me. Writing is just remnant of something that I brought up from an old story, a trick of speaking learned in a sunken city. Reading is the glass that sometimes shows up the city itself.