Minnesota is still frozen with yet another layer of snow and more is coming tomorrow. I’m convinced Spring is skipping us and we are going to go right into Summer. Hopefully, maybe? My husband and I took our dog to the dog park today and let him run and play in the snow. On our way home we stopped for lunch at Five Guys (I’m telling you all this for a reason so hang in there my point is coming). While I was chatting and eating I noticed a woman come in with what appeared to be her husband and teenage daughter. This woman was dressed trendy with jeans that were frayed all the way down both legs. The teenager was wearing black yoga pants and Uggs and the man had jeans and a flannel shirt on. My first thought was the woman was trying to hard to be young by wearing jeans that a teenager should be wearing and then I had an epiphany and an urge to write. I have no idea who this woman is or what her real-life story is, but boy in seconds I could write you the story I had developed around her from what I had observed. If you are looking for something to get you writing find yourself a fast food restaurant or a coffee shop to sit in and observe the random people who come and go. Pick a person you see and describe them, give them a personality and create a story around this person. Please remember coffee shop etiquette and order something once an hour for taking up space and using their internet. It’s amazing where this can take you when you are least expecting it and it’s quite fun to do.
If you need practice writing descriptive scenery you could take this idea outside and sit by a lake, in a park, or on a walking trail and develop a story with this as a setting. Grand Marais, Minnesota has a great park called Artist’s Point. You can walk on the rocks on the shore of Lake Superior and find a nook in a rock or in among the trees and write, it is so peaceful. Remembering this makes me want to go up there again and sit in the peace.
Malls are another fun place to observe people and write short stories. At the Mall of America they have couches, chairs, and benches all over that a person can sit down, relax, and observe people walking by. Tourists trying to navigate the mall can be a sight sometimes and it makes a good story. Go, pull up a couch, and sit and write for a bit, no one will mind.
These ideas are simple and everyone knows them, but we forget how easy it is to write. I thought I would remind you all today that you can write anywhere you want to. Just go write!