Hooray! My first blog on my first website. Welcome to The Blogerage. [It sounds like you should leave your tri-cornered hat and cudgel at the door.] Many years ago I read that James Thurber (who was nearly completely blind at that time) was at a party with his wife. She encouraged him to mingle with her but he chose to hang back and posted himself strategically against a wall facing the large room full of guests. I remember being irked by her line of, "Oh, James, stop writing." At the time I thought it pretentious. It was not until several years after reading that, when I was deeply involved with one of my novels, that I realized I have that in common with Mr. Thurber (and plenty of other writers). We hang back and listen, observe and steal overheard bits of conversations and make mental notes of quirky traits or downright weird idiosyncrasies that we can later attribute to our fictional characters, hoping to breathe some verisimilitude into them. Subtlety must be utilized or the invitations will soon cease when word gets around how you've weirded out past hosts and hostesses.
I write, therefore, I am.