Inspiration in the Odd Bits of Life.

I like paint samples. Such pristine little squares of lusciously soft or boldly sassy color. Even better than their prettiness is their names. They’re a master class in the evocative. Anniversary Platinum and Headsmans Axe may both be gray, but they hold different intentions, implications and possibilities.

The names remind me that stories need to be full of people and things. Screw abstracts. Screw “there”, “it” and “to be”. More long-wed couples and executioners, fewer passersby and crowds. More hay and butter and Golden Arches and golden retrievers and daffodils and squash. Less pale yellow.

More smiley faces and orangeries. Both evoke a time and a place and the characters wandering through those times and places. Both hint at the kind of story. Both inspire bits of scene and action. Both offer up opportunities to delight with expectation or twist as you will. Catfight in the orangery? The Smiley Face Killer (it’s a thing, possibly, sadly).

Both are succinct without being plain. Can’t you hear the giggles of the smiley face text-sender? Smell the orange trees? Feel the delightful humidity of growing things snug in a glass cage during the depths of winter. Didn’t you also see green (the leaves of the orange trees), the marble of the trees containers. Did you hear the rustling of gowns as aristocrats strolled about?
One or two words, and a scene is staged. Writing doesn’t get more beautiful than that.

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