The Backstory: From Copulation to Birthing Novels

I passed 10 stories this morning on my trip to the pharmacy and back home. It proves that while ideas come a dime a dozen, the ART of storytelling doesn't...

Rushing out of the house at five of, ticked because I hadn’t done what I was supposed to have done the day before, my fault, I hopped in the car, pulled away from the curb and right there caught two people I’d never seen before standing by a mailbox, one holding a cup of something steamy, both talking. First thing I thought was... gossip. And the next thing I saw was this long drawn out who did what, when, where and why—story #1. Drama.

Raced on by. I was in a gigantic  hurry. My show, never mind which one, came on in 15 minutes, except there was this big rig backing up into a stall…Safeway’s loading dock…blocking the road, and you know it…my egress. What the---. Like who wouldn’t see a farm…and think…banana heist, and how all it takes is one person to save a field of crops and up the minimum wage for farm workers—story #2. Thriller.

I’m at a light, tapping my foot, waiting for it to turn green when lo and behold I see on my front windshield, bird poop! That poop wasn’t there when I first hopped in the car. How did it get there? When did it get there? Was it the birds or was it me?—story #3. Mystery.

Finally, I’m in the pharmacy, standing in a line gosh-b-doggonit, tapping my foot again. Like who, but me, decides to go on a pharmacy errand at five of in the AM? At least the technicians looked occupied, like they wanted to get us out of there faster than we wanted our meds, when oops, another story slipped up on me. Story #4. Sci-fi. Behind that counter looked a lot like one flummoxing experiment.

Got the meds and was briskly walking back to my car when another total stranger I’d never seen before poked his head out of a car window asking directions to some place I’d never heard of before. But never mind that. I did my best to assist. This one was cute…ah ha…story #5. Romance.

Stranger gone and now in the car, I didn’t even realize I had the key in the ignition and was backing up when, sheeeeeeiiiit, I slammed on the brakes! Damn squirrel! Why would a squirrel deliberately attempt to run underneath my wheels at the exact time I was about to back up? I bet his critters back in the burrow had his, or her BE-HIND out on some sort of initiation rites’ mission—story #6. Fantasy.

Halfway home, and this was kind of funny, actually it was hilarious... ergo-s stories #7 straight thru 10… Comedy and a Spoof twisted into a graphic novel turned legend. I saw that stranger again... driving about a half a mile an hour looking very, very, very lost.


  1. Inspiration comes to us at the oddest moments! Truly. Stories are all around us if we just pay attention. I once saw a woman walking, minding her own business, and bam: in my mind, she's walking to go and do something awful to a really close friend of hers. If people really knew that the simple things they do inspire some of the most sinister stories we write, they'd probably take offense, lol!

    1. I didn't know you write sinister stories!!! Goodness, tell me something new. Wow!


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