It’s 5:13, and I’m finished with my writing for the day. It’s a little later than I usually leave the office, but I have an appointment with my WIP character, Annaliese Bingham. So I decide to put some coffee on and play the ambient instrumental music I remember she likes from the last time I met with her.
A few things about Anna:
1. She’s my creative friend. If I need to o.k. a design scheme or decide on a photo layout, it’s all her. I would totally call her, and she’d be there in a heartbeat which brings me to…
2. She’s the most compassionate person I know. I have a lot of friends that can talk about themselves all the time or tell you what to do with your life, but Anna’s not like that at all. She genuinely cares about other people, and so today may be interesting…because she’s going to have to talk about herself. Hmmm…well, at least I know we’ll have fun because…
3. She’s quirky. Did I mention I like quirky? I do.
At 5:15, I sit down with my coffee, and Anna steps in two minutes later. She walks in and adjusts her glasses, and I notice the paint on her knuckles and smile, “Hey, Annaliese.” In this moment I realize it’s her first visit to my office, because her eyes dart from the champagne curtains to the neutral, plush rug to the print of my favorite Monet, all in a matter of seconds. She seems a little preoccupied as she grabs the decorative pillow from the chair across my desk, smooths a few stray hairs and takes a seat.
“It’s so funny, I’m used to sitting in kid chairs at work.” Awkwardly positioning herself, she settles the pillow in her lap and finally looks up at me, “Just, real grown-up chairs in an actual office,” she presses her teeth together and smiles out of the corner of her mouth. “Not really my thing. Also, hi.”
“Hi,” I grin.
“It’s gorgeous though. I love it–really. The colors are perfect.”
“Thanks, so…how was your day–work and all?” I’ve been to Anna’s studio several times, and she never ceases to amaze me.
Anna’s face lights up and she starts to laugh, “Interesting,” she shakes a hand at me. “Definitely interesting. I think my favorite session of the day was this sweet, little eight year-old with pigtails and chubby cheeks–so serious though! Like a mini-adult. So, we tossed yarn balls and got out the fingerpaints–best hour of my day. This kind of art therapy reminds me why I do it, and there’s no better feeling than being a big kid with her today and finally getting that smile–like a little gift from God.
Anyhoo, let’s see…Oh! I finished the last of my project for Keira before I leave–you remember Keira, right?”
I feel my eyes nearly leaving their sockets, “Yes. I definitely remember Keira.” Shivering slightly, I remember our last encounter–that’s an hour I’d rather not repeat.
“I know she started out as a handful, but I just love her. She’s definitely shown the most improvement–she reminds me most of myself–“
“Wait–before you leave?” I interrupt her, “Anna, where are you going?”
The smile on her face fades, and Anna winces a bit, “I have to go out of town.”
“Have to?” I think about where I’d go if I had a few days out of town…The beach, maybe the mountains for a day or two…sounds nice.
“Yes and no–“ she exhales slowly. “It’s complicated.” Anna starts picking the paint remnants from the edges of her knuckles, and I decide this might be a good time to end the interview. Next time, maybe we should meet at a coffee shop or…
“Oh, hey! Where are you staying? Can we keep in touch?”
Unzipping the pocket of her messenger bag, Anna pulls out a card that reads:
Mercy House // Joshua Shepherd, MD // Bangkok, Thailand
Wow, this is going to be more than a trip to the beach. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Anna next!
Thanks, I hope you enjoyed this interview. Anna is definitely a creative at heart! Which characters in fiction do you love for their creativity?
Grace to you,