How (My) Stories are Born

I’m sitting in my bathroom, thinking. It’s where I happen to do a lot of my thinking. Maybe not the best, but a lot all the same. Living with a full household (partner, young son, and 6 rescued animals) doesn’t provide much in the aims of privacy. You’d better think fast (impossible) or you’d better find a place that lets you take the time. So far, there are two places that allow me to do this: the bathroom, and pretending to be asleep in bed. It’s noon, so bathroom it is. I even brought my pen and paper.

So here I am, and the topic of the day is: mallard ducks. You see, someone told me a golden nugget of a story over dinner, and I haven’t been able to get over the idea in my head. One day, this person was in their bathroom (fancy that!) taking care of business (probably not thinking much at all) and their fancy feline friend (aka kitty) pushed open the bathroom door and came waltzing in.

Kitty was carrying a full-sized mallard duck. The person gave a shout, grabbed the duck amid much fantastic flapping, and shoved it through the window, where it promptly coasted to the ground and waddled away, quacking its reproach.

At the time, I listened to the story and laughed, snorting some water through my nose but catching it just in time with a napkin. But now, in the semi-quiet of my bathroom (oh God, my son is calling for me, I better hurry up) this idea that has taken hold and grown over the days blossoms into something more.

How would your typical, household cat catch a mallard duck, let alone drag it into the house? Unless the cat was huge, massive, or super-strong. SuperKitty. Or unless the mallard duck didn’t really mind being taken by the neck by a diluted household predator, was content to go along for the ride. Unless…

So as I sit, I’m thinking of this story and answering these questions. I jot them down in chicken-scratch scribble, because I’m trying to hurry, and they grow from there. From simple answers, to scenes, descriptions, characters…

And that is how my stories are born.

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