There are stories everywhere, just waiting to be plucked out of the air. We can find them on the street, in newspaper articles, on line, in our own ramblings and ruminations. Some of the best ones seem to fall in our lap. We have only to look and listen for them — and then grab them up gratefully.
Just today, for instance, I was strolling along with a couple of dog-walking friends, Mo and Will. Mo noticed a new baby duckling in the pond in our park. It slipped into the water and began swimming — alone and unprotected. Usually, you only see ducklings with a mom, a dad or both. Mo spotted a few ducks lazing on the island in the center of the pond. “Look, two dads — maybe the duckling has two dads!” she called out. Instantly, the idea of a new version of the classic, Make Way for Ducklings popped into my head. “Hey, Mo, you could write Make Way for Ducklings 2.0!” I said laughing. Not a bad idea!
Reading The New York Times sparked another idea, inspired by a story about the “miracle on the Hudson” plane and its trailer trip to its new home, the Carolinas Aviation Museum. Admirers followed the plane’s journey on Twitter and Facebook; some traveled for hours just to touch it. One fellow, Ben Bostic, was sitting in seat 20A when the plane’s engine burst into flames. He talked about it as if it were alive. “She did everything that she could, that she had to do, for us to survive, staying afloat and not breaking apart,” Ben said. Wouldn’t it be amazing to tell the story of what happened on that cold day in January from the plane’s point of view? What an intriguing vantage point!
And finally, David just brought home a library book for me called, The Virginia Woolf Writers’ Workshop by Danell Jones. In her preface, Danell says, “The idea for this book came in one of those flashes of inspiration that grace writers from time to time. I was rummaging through Woolf’s books, collecting ideas I thought would be of interest to my creative writing students, when suddenly I had a vision of Virginia Woolf swanning into a lecture hall.” She took the idea and ran with it — and now I’m eagerly reading the results. Ideas are everywhere — and isn’t it wonderful?