Saturday, April 7, 2012
G: Gushing Ideas
I did a little shopping earlier today and plenty of ideas gushed from the crowds of self-absorbed folks standing in line and wheeling their shopping cards with focused intent. In the toy section of the department store, I saw a little boy trying to convince his even younger brother to select a different toy so they wouldn't both have the same one. But the little brother wanted to have the same as his big brother. How many stories have started with a similar conflict but with bigger rewards than a toy at stake?
In another part of the store, a teenage girl and her mother discussed the padding of lack there of in the top of the bathing suits they were comparing. Hmmm. I'll skip that story. But at the checkout, an older lady explained to the clerk, and held up the entire line, why the medicine her doctor prescribed wasn't helping her back. The lonely lady set bags of candy and boxes of cheap plastic eggs on the counter, saying she wasn't sure how many of her grandchildren would visit her for Easter. If I wrote her story, they would all show up.
Another military helicopter chopped its way through the cloudless sky. It was the fourth helo I'd seen. I assume the nearby fort was having some weekend maneuvers. But in the story ideas gushing forth, I imagined the choppers were the first sign of an impending invasion of ... was that tall heavily made up woman a human, or an alien in disguise? No way was her hair a natural color.
What about the lady in the spirits store who was discussing the varying qualities of boxed wines with a store clerk? Can't say I know much about that one. The large variety of locally made wine did catch my interest. Vineyards are not only the farm fields of the rich and well-known. There are many small wine makers and they have such creative names for their wares. There has to be a story behind some of their labels.
Outside my house, the neighbors are battling stiff breezes as they go about spring chores. Someone has a mower running in the distance. The man across the street rakes last year's leaves from his flower beds and everywhere is the scent of spring flowers and fresh greenery. A new beginning for the land, a start of a journey in a story, across a land recently ravaged by floods and the snows of winter, now coming alive again.
So take this weekend, a holiday for many of us, and look around for the ideas gushing out of every day things. Notice the people you encounter, smell the fresh-turned earth, listen to geese flying north and add those sights, sounds and everything else your senses send you into your writing. Ideas are everywhere.
Did anything recently strike you as a great idea to put in your writing? Did anything particular make an impression of one of your senses other than sight?