Writing is like the monkeys in the silo

I was minding my own business yesterday, doing the dishes and thinking about something on the news, when bam, an idea hit me.

I was playing the “what if” game: “What’s his story? Why did that really happen? What if it happened this way?”

That idea is gone, sadly… I didn’t write it down… but it sparked the idea for this post.

When I was a kid, I’d ask my mom or dad while we were driving: “tell me about that silo out there” or “tell me about that chimney” (around here, you can often find chimneys sort of hanging around with no house). “Tell me why this road is named Hubbel… why this is named Euler.”

(there’s another story there, too…)

And my mom would tell me about the monkeys in the silo, or my dad would tell me about Hub Bill, who wanted the world to revolve around him, or the You Learns (our road is pronounced you-ler, not like the scientist, oddly).

Writing is like that. You look at a thing. You ask a question. And the question leads to a story.

Tell me about that chimney, mom. Tell me about Reed Road, Daddy.

Tell me about that guy walking down the street. He’s carrying bags on a ski pole like a modern yoke. What’s his story?

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