David Brown (I tried to discover which David Brown said today's wisdom, but there are so many David Browns on the Internet that it was an impossible task.) said: "Never be the first to arrive at a party or the last to go home and never, never be both."

Now that the holidays are over, I think I'll take a deep breath and remember all the fun we had last month.

We had quite a few parties to attend this year. They were fun, and, for me, educational because they're a great resource for people watching. It's interesting to see someone across a room and form an opinion of them based on their appearance and then see whether that opinion is warranted as the night wears on.

Of course, all the parties this year were sedate with no outrageous drunken or ill-conceived behavior. I'm sure the hosts were delighted in their guests' good behavior, but, as a writer, I like to observe the quirky and ridiculous. Outrageous, when it occurs, is a big bonus. Bits and pieces of outrageous are a jumping off point for my imagination. Something ignited by this behavioral flotsam and jetsam eventually finds its way into what I write.

Takeaway Truth

You can always spot a writer at a party because he or she is the guest who's having way too much fun just listening and watching.

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