A kid in my grandson’s classroom asked, “Do you carry a notebook with you to write things down so you won’t forget?” I said yes, and my boy, sitting at my feet, whispered with hope in his eyes, “Do you have it with you?” Alas, I had left it in my car, not knowing that eating lunch with him would lead to an impromptu author’s visit. His disappointment was evident, and I shared it. How cool it would have been to pull out the pretty and practical memo pad a friend gave me and share a couple gems with the kids. (See it in the photo, perched on books on writing I treasure.)
Oh, well. You, dear readers, can help me redeem that moment by sharing with me some of the recent items I’ve noted. As striking and poignant as they are, I might have forgotten them in two minutes if I depended on my memory. These sights, sounds, and true life events may inspire or appear in my writing someday.
• a man survived WW I combat only to be shot to death on his sister’s front porch shortly after his return when her husband mistook him for her lover
• a gift card envelope designed in bright yellow embossed letters spelling out GET STUFF
• a community table at a restaurant with three parties, one speaking a foreign language only to each other, one seeming to bristle at the lack of privacy, and the third wondering why the others had chosen a community table
• one kid asking another, “I had pizza for lunch. What did you have?” “Just the opposite,” replied the other child. Hmm… Kale? Liver?
• a gay couple’s friend agreed to surrogate for them, giving birth to twins biologically connected to each of them respectively, and then medical testing necessary for one of the babes revealed which child was connected to which father, astonishing them and other family members who had guessed/assumed the opposite
• walking in the park, I heard someone yell, then after another minute of walking, yell again, then I saw him on the ground under a clump of bushes, plagued by his demons, yelling out
• in Honduras—U.N. certified violence against children targeted by narco cartel, 100 a month raped, tortured, mutilated; a 14-year-old has witnessed three murders
• the father of a woman dealing with endometrial/ovarian cancer introduces her to an elderly friend by saying she’s under treatment and the kind man asks what kind of cancer. Hesitation. “Upper or lower?” he persists in a caring manner. “Lower,” she says. “Oh! That’s such a tender part,” he says sympathetically.
As we often say, you can’t make this stuff up.
How about a Comment with a gem you’ve encountered recently?
And hey, maybe this is the moment you forward the above to a friend who might find it interesting and urge them to Follow me. I’m at 36 subscribers. While I treasure each one of you, that number is obviously pathetic, pretty much nothing in terms of the almighty social media presence required in the publishing world these days. Please help. Thanks.