Some days are just plain frustrating. My youngest daughter wandered into my office and told me that the toilet was clogged. This occasionally happens, so I went and got the plunger out of the garage and went to work on it—until I heard something in the bathtub, looked, and realized that every time I plunged, water was coming up the drain and I would definitely be needing to disinfect that before the next shower.
This clearly meant I had a more serious issue. A look outside at the cleanout confirmed that my main sewer line was clogged. I have a poorly placed tree in my front yard, so this occasionally happens, too. Thus, I took a trip to my local big box hardware store to rent a plumber’s snake. A couple hours later my plumbing problem was in my past and I returned the snake and got my deposit back, minus the “minimum four hour rental” charge.
Since it was now mid-afternoon and neither my daughter nor I had yet had lunch, I went to a fast food restaurant. When I got home, I discovered that while my daughter’s part of the order was okay, my half was completely wrong: I did not get any fries and the burger in the bag was not the burger I had ordered. They did, however, get my drink right.
For ordinary people, this sort of day would simply be chalked up as “not a good one.” For me, as a writer, I also chalked it up the same as an ordinary person might. But I also took it as wonderful fodder for future writing. Any incident, good or bad, that happens to an author is an idea factory. We carefully examine it, tuck it away in our heads, and happily pull it out when we need it. For those wondering where writers get their ideas, this is where.
My plumbing problem may turn into some disaster on a lunar colony that will come at just the wrong time for some character—for instance, a fast food worker. I identify with Taylor Swift’s use of exes in her songs.
Writers aren’t psychotic. We’re just creative and find socially acceptable methods of vengeance.