If I ever die unexpectedly and my “idea file” is found, I hope it is turned over to one of my writer-friends, who will know what to do with it. (Hopefully put it in the nearest shredder.) Most of these ideas for essays and short stories and novels are jotted down in small spiral notebooks I keep on my nightstand and in my purse. Anything that I consider grist for the literary mill is written down in brief, pithy phrases that I can refer to when I need a little jump-start of inspiration. And even though I have dozens of these notebooks, which I’m sure contain some of the most profound ruminations known to mankind, I will share some of them with you. Just because I could never figure out a way to expound further on these topics, doesn’t mean you can’t!
…You know you need to start getting out more when you start talking to your goldfish.
…I hate it when I’m on the treadmill watching TV, and every commercial shows a fattening dessert.
…Every person I know thinks their way of loading the dishwasher is the best way.
…The hardest part of writing a novel is the first sentence.
…I hate opening the microwave in the morning and finding something in there from the night before.
…It seems that what is now called “thick-sliced” bacon is what regular bacon used to be.
…Some days it seems that I have spent ninety percent of my life cleaning up other people’s messes.
…The phrase “family vacation” is a contradiction in terms.
…It’s great to build new libraries to replace the really old ones. But it’s too bad they can’t keep the smell.
…One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in life is to never say never.
…You know you are a pretty good cook when you own a Tupperware cake carrier. Ditto for a deviled egg tray.
…Doesn’t it seem weird that behind the beer stands at sporting events they have these big signs that say “Don’t Drink and Drive”?
…The only time a tuna sandwich tastes good is when you are really hungry, and there’s nothing else in the house to eat.
…Even though I have been working out pretty much my whole adult life. it doesn’t get any easier. If I take a week or two off, it’s like starting over when I go back.
…It used to be that one or two drivers would sneak through a light after it turned yellow. Now it seems six or seven people do.
…I am never truly comfortable swimming in the ocean because all I can think about is all the disgusting stuff people have thrown in it.
…It’s a rare day when I don’t do at least one load of laundry.
…Don’t you hate it when you put something in a special place so you will be sure to find it, and then a week later you can’t remember where that special place is?
…As I’ve gotten older, if I get an unexpected pain in any part of my body, I immediately think it is cancer.
…I have lots of really good first sentences for short stories. It’s the other couple hundred sentences that are tricky.
…I have found that you should never listen to any music whatsoever when going through a breakup.
…In my notes for short story ideas is this potential opening sentence for a story: “In the morning they seemed like such nice cows.” I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote that gem.