I have an affliction.
I have a really great memory. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but in my case…it’s a really great selective memory.
Will I remember that I have to pick up marshmallow fluff at the store tonight? Nope. Do I know where I put my damn car keys? Nope. Can I tell you whether or not I scheduled that meeting at the day job that I was supposed to facilitate? Hopefully.
But ask me about behind-the-scenes movie trivia, or historical oddities, or geographic anomalies, and I’m your girl. My family calls it “The vault of useless information.” I’m awesome in trivia challenges, but hell if I can tell you what I had for dinner on Tuesday.
Being a writer, I’ve found that it actually comes in handy. For instance…I remembered an obscure fact about a supercluster of mini-earthquakes that happened in 1985 at Yellowstone, and that reminded me of another really interesting and very odd thing that happened in the eighties, and I thought….hmmmm. Wouldn’t it be interesting if those two things were somehow related….
And what kind of other-wordly being (or uniquely-powered person) would be involved in that? And then I sifted through my mental people-watching files, and a story started growing, and from that story, I could easily see how I could turn this into a series of stories…
That’s how my brain works. Odd fact or interesting story or amusing anecdote or creepy encounter meets a memory of a certain kind of person or the characteristic of a person, add water (sometimes I prefer wine or flavored vodka…) and it starts growing.
Of course, some of this stuff is pure crap. I save it all in a file anyway, because you never know when crap can ferment into gold. It’s happened on occasion, if I let it sit and germinate for awhile. And even if it stays crap…hey, it’s good for a laugh when I open up the file.
What about you? Where do you seem to get your ideas from?