Errata Literary Magazine

Bucks County Writers Workshop

The Random Writer
by David Jarret

Have you got writer's block? My best ideas for stories come from real life episodes. For example, here are some scenes I witnessed this week along with my assessment of what type of story each could make:

1. A woman named Geraldine on her first day as a new waitress in a diner in Philly: Idea for a short story.

2. Article in Phila. Inquirer about a romance: A boy named Bill and a girl named Ceil fall in love as teenagers. Bill asks Ceil to marry him, and he even converts to Catholicism for her. Ceil puts him off and eventually decides to dump Bill in favor of a career. Each eventually marries someone else and raises a family. It is four decades later, and Bill's wife Janet dies of cancer. Ceil reads the obituary and sends Bill a sympathy card, although they have been out of touch for decades. In the card she tells Bill that she has two children, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and that her husband was recently killed in a snowmobiling accident. Bill writes back, telling Ceil that he had been married to Janet for thirty-nine years, and they had six children. Bill and Ceil have a reunion, they opened their hearts, and within four weeks, became married: Idea for a romance novel.

3. Chasing my dog around the table: No idea yet.

4. Teaching my daughter how to drive a car: Idea for a Safety Pamphlet.

See what I mean? Since so many things happen to us in our daily lives, unlimited ideas abound in our lives. Everyone has ideas. These can be used as 'story fodder', and ideas are free! The next Puilitzer Prize for Fiction will come from an idea, so sit down, stand up, or read the newspaper, and think one up now.

Bucks County Writers Workshop