The elements of surprise.
They catch us off guard and can throw us into a frenzy if we’re prone to frenzy-throwing. But those surprises can also be catalysts in the liberation process when it comes to writing. Sometimes it takes a good out-of-the-ordinary event to shake us out of our comfy little boxes and rattle our brains a bit to get at those juicy bits of creativity clinging for dear life in the nooks and crannies.
Like the death of Davy Jones, my favorite Monkee. Like running into a good friend at Chapters on a Saturday afternoon. Like finding a forgotten Lindt chocolate bar in my desk drawer. Like getting called in to work an hour before I have to be there. Like a bouquet of flowers from my oldest daughter. Like a grocery bill $50 under budget.
Small things maybe, but surprises nonetheless. And every single one of them has the potential to show up in a story somewhere.
I write them down.