Inspiration comes from odd places… and sometimes things get creepy.
As I was looking for art to help me write the story, I stumbled across an article from a few months earlier about a homeowner in the Lone Mountain neighborhood of San Francisco – that’s the neighborhood around University of San Francisco, where I went to school – finding a sealed coffin under the garage floor during a remodel.
These doors don’t have the kind of locks that rattle, but if we’re sitting in the living room, just reading by the fire or maybe watching television (I admit, we watch far too much television) we sometimes feel a faint breeze, as if the seal between the two doors has been tested and found to be slightly lacking.
They stare up at me, waiting, their luminous eyes large, and tracking my every move. Every flash of my knife makes their heads twitch a little bit. Every time they hear the blade contact the wooden block they flinch slightly, moving one foot just a little bit, then easing it back into its starting position.
Once I’d managed to walk between raindrops, I decided it was time to dive into puddles. That took a bit longer to master. I mean, flying may be as simple as – how did Douglas Adams put it? – throwing yourself at the ground and missing, but puddle diving requires a bit more… nuance.
When there’s an itch that really needs to be scratched.
She’d roast him first, of course. Dragon fire killed the pain and added a crispy outer shell that was just so… She was distracted from her search for the perfect word by another infernal itch. This time it was right above her left ear-slit.
Tea is so much more than dried leaves and boiling water.
I’m struck by the way the wet green tea leaves look as though they’re the result of a fortune-teller’s reading, and I wonder what their message might be. We are all surprised when Hector tells us that the brew time for this tea is less than a minute, and even more so when he tells us that white, yellow, and green tea leaves can be re-used two or three times, if treated gently!
A lot of people buy grocery store flowers. Sometimes they need a little help. Like Jack.
The boy was still hovering as she returned to her station. She tucked her cup behind a roll of ribbon on the work-desk below counter-height and smoothed her apron. Then she went to check on the kid. “Hi,” she said gently. “I’m Daisy. Are you looking for something special?”
The boy’s gray eyes betrayed the kind of hurt that was usually only evident in older faces, but he managed a faint smile. “I’m Jack,” he said. “I need to get flowers for my mom,” he said, with a hint of a quiver in his voice. “But I only have eight dollars.”
A lot of people buy grocery store flowers. Frank is one of them.
Daisy had gotten into the habit of taking her break at the same time the old man – Frank was his name – showed up. At least, she did so whenever she could. Some Wednesdays there was a rush at her kiosk, people needing flowers for birthdays or anniversaries, Secretary’s day or back-to-school. There were any number of reasons, and, she made a point of asking each customer who they were shopping for and what that person liked, doing her best to find the perfect blend of giver, receiver, and occasion.
How do I process unimaginable situations? With music.
Whether it’s angry-girl rock that helps us find our inner strength, a lullaby sung to a fretful or fearful child, or a silly pop number that helps us rediscover joy, even in the midst of sorrow, music is the language that lives in our deepest hearts.
The first bit of a new story. Total WIP. Opens in a cafe in Mexico.
The server appears. He’s wearing a nametag that says “Carlos,” but every server she’s ever met here has been called “Carlos.” They’re always kids, these servers. Not children, but kids. They come to town to work in the restaurants the gringos frequent. They practice English and learn restaurant skills, and then they head to Mexico City or California or Texas, hoping for a better life. The kind that comes with air conditioned apartments.