People have commented to me in the past that they couldn’t imagine how authors came up with ideas for stories. This dumbfounds me.
Stories are in the shade covering the barn door, that barn which was state of the art when it was built in the twenties but whose doors are rarely opened anymore. Stories are in the sign beside the highway for a creek that I’ve seen hundreds of times as I passed on my way to work but one day it just sang to me. Stories are in the community watch sign that I didn’t see on the side of a utility van, where I expected it. They’re in the song lyrics and news headlines, in television shows and books that make me think… what if? I’ve had essays come out of advice I found myself giving to three different people in as many days.
The problem, for me, isn’t getting ideas. The problem is finding the time to turn them into stories. The ideas are everywhere.