What to write about
These blogs have a wonderful way of forcing focus and at the same time make that focus harder to achieve. I’m sure that all writers come up with visions that seem so real and then watch them evaporate in the presence of a notebook or computer. It can get worse; the fuzzy mirage of a story becomes even more blurry when the heat of waiting to the last minute to finish it is applied. Let’s see what I can come up with in the next hour before my deadline.
You, the reader, have no way of knowing that this is not the next paragraph I wrote. I actually wrote and discarded two paragraphs using a metaphor of a chef using experience and imagination to put together a fine dinner and made the comparison of writing ideas to food ingredients and editing to cleaning, chopping and parboiling. It was lame.
But, I’m still thinking along the lines of places where a writer can get ideas. At the supermarket actually might be a good idea. Any place other where people congregate can be fertile ground for observing the human condition. Take Wal-Mart for example, it is probably one of the best people watching places there is. I remember once, a long time ago, seeing this hairy old guy standing in the check-out line with just a giant bag of cosmetic puffs in his basket. Although it piqued my naturally suspicious mind that odd things usually have a definite explanation, I didn’t confirm until later that drug users use cotton balls for purifying heroin before shooting up. What at first seemed to be just an odd and almost funny scenario could almost certainly be made part of a story that juxtaposes the tragedy of drug abuse with the banality of its everyday trappings. Or maybe there was no more to it than he was getting them at the request of his makeup laden wife.
You don’t have to leave home gather the ingredients of stories. Just listen to the news and voila, there is the whole spectrum of the human condition laid out for the taking. Think about a fictional character conjured from tidbits of observations made of the president, Tom Brady and George Stephanopoulos. Bet that puts a picture in your head. Maybe you could see a spectator make a face at a golf match and read whatever you want into it to make the next great story of the golf fiction genre. By the way don’t even stop to wonder if there is such a thing as a golf fiction genre; if you write a great story, there will be one.