I find that the oddest moments or most unlikely observations have a way of providing material for stories and poems.
In an interview with Amy Purcell, who won first place in The Writer magazine’s Short Story Contest, she says she loves nature, is an avid reader of National Geographic, and often tears out pages about subjects that could serve as metaphors. She uses imagery of bees in her award-winning story, Home Repair, which was inspired by a trip to Home Depot. (See the February 2013 issue for more details, including winning entries for second and third place).
Random interactions often reveal details and nuances of people that I find I can use in poetry. Last summer, a landscaper who was sleuthing the source of a leak in my yard’s irrigation system inspired a poem about the hardness of life. Read more