Reflecting pool of regret

Spencer Edwards Meets Ben Chang

Once upon a time, I used to work in downtown Houston, a hustling, bustling mega-metropolis of glass-and-chrome skyscrapers soaring high into the sky, home to the corporate headquarters of oil and gas and energy powerhouses—Exxon, Chevron, Halliburton, etc., etc.

As a cog, raging against the machine (ha!), I often found solace away from the profit margin madness by escaping to the reflecting pool in front of Houston’s City Hall.

Around two in the afternoon, I would leave the frosty, over-air conditioned office complex and head out to the reflecting pool. Many of my lunch hours were spent there, reflecting on life, thinking, and relaxing… I’d like to say that sometimes, I was writing, but who am I kidding? Anyhoo …

I always believed the reflecting pool in front of Houston’s City Hall would be a great location for a scene in a book.

Initially, I tagged it for a chase scene—the pool is shallow enough to run through, after all! However, when I began thinking about a location for the fateful meeting of two of the main characters of Flawless Mistake, I decided I needed a location to symbolize the mood, which was the irony of devastating disappointment in the midst of a lovely, bright, sunshine-drenched pre-Spring day. There was no better place than the reflecting pool. Surrounded by green manicured lawns and colorful annual and perennials, you generally feel both serene, and suspicious, as you warily eye some vagrant, disheveled and disoriented, staggering through the flower beds.

It was the perfect location for a beautiful, desolate woman, plagued by her bad decisions, to have a chance encounter with a sexy stranger who appears to be understanding and sympathetic.

Check out chapter 1 of Flawless Danger to see how I used this location in the story.