Stray Thoughts and Chance Meetings

It’s funny how stray thoughts and serendipitous meetings can inspire creative ideas.

Recently I bumped in to an acquaintance of mine and had a brief chat. He is a quietly spoken American man with one of those faces that just ask to be photographed in black and white.

Everything about the lines in his forehead and the concern in his eyes makes you want to freeze frame his features so you can take a better look and wonder at the meaning behind it.

The depth of my reaction to this isolated, brief moment inspired me to write a short story, which I have been working on all this week.

Although the original inspiration has been abandoned by the story in favour of a character and plot far beyond that brief encounter, the essence of the man I met is still there.

If at any time I lose the thread of what I am trying to communicate, I can bring to mind the man’s face to keep me on track.

Experiences like this argue in favour of writers getting out from behind their lap tops. How can you write about this world, or any world, if you don’t have a reservoir of interesting situations to draw upon?

Meet new people, get to know people who you wouldn’t ordinarily have anything in common with. Observe the way they react, respond and hold back.

Who knows what tiny details or strange thoughts were the starting point for many a great work of art, but they had to originate somewhere.

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