Observe and Recycle

I was sitting here listening to what sounded like a million birds singing, the city's woodchipper gnawing up and spitting out what had been the neighbor's shrubbery, and Air Force training jets zooming by overhead one after another, when all of a sudden all the noise stopped.


One by one, the birds chirped solos before the full chorus joined in. And as they sang, I heard the jets again in the background - touch-and-go's, I guessed - taking off to the east after landing from the west. The shrubbery was mulch.

It's observations like this that find their way into my writing in some way. Sometimes, it might appear on the page/screen exactly as it occurred, but most times these observations reappear in a distorted form. It might be only the eerie feeling or the sudden silence. Or maybe it's a nosy pilot's wife who sees a something strange going into the woodchipper. Or maybe it's birds being sucked into the chipper by an unknown force - if I'm feeling like Stephen King or Dean Koontz.

The point is that the more you note your daily experiences, the more you have to draw from when you sit down to write. You can bend them, morph them into something you wouldn't recognize if you didn't know where it came from, or play with them in any number of ways - even have someone love the feeling you thought was scary as hell.

So pay attention. And recycle your experiences!