What is the best way to get your creative juices flowing when you want to write? Your own brilliance? Traveling the world? Being inspired by books, TV, or paintings? How about all of the above? Seeing and hearing the world around you, in any setting, is my two cents of advice. I may take my time writing a post, but that doesn’t mean I don’t come up with new writing prompts or ideas all the time.

Living in New York is tough, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. Most of the time we try to tune out the world around us just to get from Point A to Point B without losing our sanity. The world is a crazy place, but don’t let that stop you from paying attention. Even if it’s only for a minute or two. Listen to the cars speed by as they rush to unknown destinations, birds singing ballads in the park, or that obnoxious conversation two people in orange wigs are having next to you at the museum. (No shame in eavesdropping.)

As you are seeing and hearing and oohing and awing, think about it. Think about who is driving the car, where they are going, and why. Think about how a bird comes up with a song, and how the same song would sound in a deeper tone. Think about the shop owners who sold the museum goers their wigs, and how they got into the beauty business.

It seems like I’m going in circles, but in truth I’m building things that could be built even bigger and more elaborate than the last time I came around. How about the driver is on his way to visit a long lost aunt who owns a tea shop in Salem, or the bird has the ability to sing Frank Sinatra songs when it’s in the shade, or the wig shop owners have three weeks to pay off a loan shark or all the wigs are given to the mercy of a blow torch. The walls to the house are built with each brick cemented in.

Then comes the beginning of the story:

“Orlando wasn’t in a hurry, he was just an angry driver to begin with. His horn blazed as other cars sped in weaving lines around each other. Who could get nowhere the fastest? They said….”

“With ten dollars in allowance money and a day off from school, Bruce felt like he owed the world. As if that wasn’t grand enough, there was nothing but blue, clear azure sky above his head. It was the perfect day to go strolling in the park to see Oliver Twist-and-Shout, the song bird who would croon a fifties ballad for a few pieces of bird feed…”

“‘If you don’t have the thirty grand by Tuesday morning, I can promise you this block will smell like burnt hair for months’…”

Building blocks, people! They are everywhere!

I find I have an urgent need to write when I think up a storyline I don’t want to forget. Something so good that other people might even want to read it. Paying attention to the world around me (on occasion) is what gets me to that place.

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