For writers, inspiration can come from just about anywhere. When I lived in Miami, my writing teacher, Dennis Ross, had plenty of ideas for his students. At the end of each class, he’d give us a selection of prompts to use in creating our stories for the following week. But as class ended one evening he asked each of us to bring three objects to our next session. Why? He smiled and said we’d just have to wait and see.
In my case, I picked a dried-up tube of lipstick, a key, and a cardboard coaster from The Hog’s Breath Saloon. The guy who brought the key said he thought it belonged to a Harley he once had.
The next day I went online and looked up The Hog’s Breath Saloon. The bar is one of many in Key West, Florida. I had my setting! Lipstick and a Harley key? My brain went in four different directions, inspired by all the possibilities. The short story I wrote started with this line:
She's wearing bright red lipstick, and her boyfriend roars into the parking lot on a Harley.
Maybe all of us should excavate our junk drawers. Just close our eyes and grab something. Who knows what inspiration might lie within our grasp?
(FYI: This is a recycled post from my participation with other authors on the now-defunct Boomers & Books blog, originally published in September, 2013. My first novel, I.O.U. SEX, was inspired by my high school diary.)