A month of finding stories

True confession time … when I decided I would try to post something every day in July (and the last couple days in June), I never thought I’d actually be able to do it.

I figured at some point I’d have unconquerable writer’s block, or I wouldn’t have time or I’d just decide I really didn’t feel like doing it, and who cares, right? I was only doing it to challenge myself, anyway.

But here we are. It’s July 31, and I’m sitting at my kitchen counter, typing away on my iPad.

The bad news: England didn’t win the World Cup. The good news: I think Gardner has recovered.

I like telling stories. If you don’t believe me, just ask people who know me, and don’t be overly surprised by the eye-rolling. And if it’s my brother you’re talking to, don’t believe him when he says my stories wander off-track all the time … it only happens once in a while.

But it’s a completely different animal going through life for a whole month, if not openly looking for stories, at least viewing everything as possibly something I could write about.

Sometimes it was easy, like watching England play in the World Cup at my English friend Gardner’s house.

Telling the story on my anniversary of how I met my wife? Easy call.


I had a feeling that going to see “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” and “Moulin Rouge” would turn into worthy writing topics, and I was correct.

I could stare at Parliament Hill in Ottawa after dark forever.

Reading someone else’s post about “breaking up” with the places she has visited turns into “What the hell … let me see if I can describe cities I’ve visited like personal relationships.” (By the way, this was the post that started the whole challenge, and I have an update, as we are going to Chicago in September.)

A Facebook memory of a Cape Cod League game turns into searching for one of the players (and finding him on Twitter!). A Facebook post about a friend’s birthday meets up with a BBC article and turns into a rumination on aging.

For 14 years, more proof that life is not fair.

Matt Vasgersian says something dumb about bachelorette parties at a ballpark, and I turn it into a story about my own bachelor party but more about my best friend … and that spins off into memories of a ballpark I went to as a kid.

A quick stop for dish soap turns into an appreciation of KMart.

I’m still not sure who’s buying this.

Sometimes the muse takes its own sweet time to arrive — which is where stories about items in bookstores that seemingly exist to take up space or rainbows in parking lots come from.

And every now and then, something hits you just right … like being entitled to comfortable underwear.

By the way, we’re still getting stuff in the mail, but the candidates for Congress haven’t come back around. And she never did write back.

My point is … you take your inspiration where you can get it. (Although the Mystic River, pictured at the top of the post, didn’t provide any, other than it made for nice pictures.)

Hopefully, there’s not a guy holding up a line somewhere wondering if he should get fries.

So now that I’ve spent a month writing about such matters as the thought process of wondering whether to get fries with that, do I plan on keeping it up?

Probably not, at least not every day.

My style has always been to write whenever the mood strikes me and I think something is interesting, and while I like to think I picked interesting things to write about the last month, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel forced at times.

I have no idea how people who write books, requiring thousands of words a day for weeks at a time, do it.


3 thoughts on “A month of finding stories

  1. Pingback: #WhyIWrite – A Silly Place

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s