Orson Scott Card once said, "Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any." It's true, really. Everywhere you look, there are scenes, settings, stories, characters, all waiting to be transformed. Working in a third-floor office with a full wall window overlooking a hotel, an apartment complex, and shopping center parking lots, hundreds of them pass me by a day. I've had many times when I've stopped and just watched as something interesting happens: fire trucks, construction, police officers, traffic back-ups, barking dogs, limos, dozens of stories happening right under my nose. All those moments are mine and mine alone.
And then I keep them to myself. I store the really interesting ones away, forget others, probably forget some of the interesting ones.
Yesterday, I thought, "Why not share them?"
So starting today and hopefully continuing each week, I'm going to report on my weekly inspirations. All those little moments that lit a small spark, and all of you, dear readers, are welcome to them. Consider everything a prompt that you are welcome to take and twist and develop as your own if you like. Because the moments may have been mine, but there's not reason I can't pass them on to you as well. Some weeks I may have many, some only one or two, but I'll try to have something interesting for you every week.
This week's moments:
- There was a woman walking down the side of the road. At first, I thought she was wearing a purple headscarf that wrapped around her hair and trailed down to her waist, but as I drew nearer, I realized it was her hair, set in small violet braids.
- As I parked in my driveway, a firefly landed on the windshield of my car. I had just been lamenting to myself that I'd yet to see one this season, so it was thrilling to have the first one so close. Only lightly illuminated by the single lamp on the front porch, it didn't know I was there, leaning in over my steering wheel for a closer look. In the minute we both sat there, inches apart, it didn't flash, not once, but there in the darkness, I could see the promise of light inside it, green and pulsating, flashing and roiling around inside it like lightning in a cloud. In that moment, I understood why they're called "lightning bugs."