Something I've recently realized (a little too recently considering how long I've been writing) is that every experience, good or bad, joyful, sorrowful, humiliating, or strange, is potential. Every moment of life you experience is a moment you can accurately reproduce in your stories, should the need arise. The more you're aware, the more you absorb, the more real you can write.
I learned a lot this past week. Whether I'll ever need it or not, I don't know, but if I do, it's there now.
Now I know about the size and beauty of El Paso, TX, especially at night.
Now I know how a three-foot tall, 28lb toddler can KO a full-grown adult.
Now I know the process of a military funeral.
Every little thing's a lesson for a writer. Every moment is potential. There's nothing quite like laying someone to rest to remind you to appreciate every single one.
And if for some reason you need a toddler to take out an adult, have said toddler lock their legs around the seated adult's legs at the last second while she tries to put the toddler on the ground in front of her. When the adult realizes too late that the toddler's feet are not where her center of balance said they should be, gravity and trying to avoid squishing the child will take care of the rest.