My character Addie got me out on another new adventure last week. Some of you may recall she got me to the gun range for my first experience with handguns in September. That helped me write a scene with Addie and her crew and that got me thinking another firearm adventure should be part of the second book I am writing about Addie and her pals. So as November rolled in it made sense to check out the annual Turkey Shoot at Goldbug Island (named after a story by Edgar Allan Poe). I am telling you this to remind you that as writers we have to get out in the world to refill our creative tanks. First let me put out there that this event raises money for charity and benefits those in need in our East of the Cooper area of Charleston. Second I need to point out no turkeys were harmed in this event (Seriously I avoided going to it for years because I thought the targets were real turkeys) the targets are paper. Considering how well I did my first time at the gun range I thought surely I would be able to hit the target although I did not really expect to win a turkey. I was a little disappointed that the paper targets were not cut out paper turkeys with rings and a bulls-eye like the human outline targets at the gun range, they were just 8×11 pieces of paper with a black line vertical and horizontal to cross in the exact middle of the page and stapled to a fence. I tired twice, did not hit my paper either time and ended up with a bruise when the shotgun hit back into my chest. So I bought a turkey shoot t-shirt to do my part for charity and sat back and watched the cast of characters around me. There was a wide range of ages, men, women and children. Many brought their own gun, many had some element of camouflage worked into their wardrobe, that confused me a bit, the paper targets could not run and hide if they spotted their predator. I came to the conclusion the camouflage was worn to signal to others who was a serious hunter, important to remember when writing such a character. There was an old guy (all in blue, including his ball cap) that participated in about every round, and everyone seemed to know his name, a longstanding loyal character. I went with one of my friends whose husband was working the event, tagging along with them was the ex-husband of someone we know. He seemed sad and he was stewing in a weekend long intake of alcoholic beverages, he was a virtual treasure trove for character development. He pointed out the arrival of the “It girl” from back in the day at the local high school, that would have been a great character to study, but when I turned to look as he said her name I found myself looking at a character from the story of my own life. I am sure that she would not remember me, but I remember her. We did not go to high school together, but I dated someone from her high school, that she had stayed friends with and when we broke up I felt she had something to do with that. In an instant I was back to my 19-20 year old insecure self. I had forgotten about this person so seeing her felt like a fresh slap in the face ( my writer’s brain is racing with what I can build off of this unearthed memory) but after a few minutes my more mature self decided to study her. She had children with her group (not sure if they were hers) but she did not wear a wedding ring, a fact pointed out by my buzzed companion. She still looked pretty, but I still found it hard to figure out what made men flock to her, she was not a bombshell. I began to imagine her life story and realized that like most people it was not a fairy tale, in fact she could have her fair share of adversity and was worthy of having a happy ending (though the catty jealous side of me might want to write an alternative tale) another character to create. So walking away from the turkey shoot I may not have bagged a turkey but I came away with a bountiful cache of story ideas and characters to develop.