This morning, I’m blogging from our local diner where my dad and his buddies (why is it that older men always have “buddies?”) are having their weekly breakfast. Eight men over 50. All in collared shirts; most in khakis. So far, in 15 minutes, they’ve discussed the local political candidates, the new high school in the county, and one man’s work to build medical facilities and schools in Uganda.

Our local drive-in - another story there.

These guys make me wish I wrote fiction. I could just see this scene being a pivotal moment in a novel, or perhaps it’s the recurring scene that grounds a story. Of course, I could use it for nonfiction, say if I wanted to write a book about Fork Union, VA (now, there’s an idea). The idea is that these guys make great writing material.

Of course, almost anything can make great writing material if we think about it that way. I could write about the fountain across the street and examine why anyone thought putting a fountain at an all-boys military high school was a good idea. Or I might dig into the history of the local family where seven sisters married seven brothers from another family and each couple got their own plantation homestead. There are stories everywhere, even in my hometown where we have no stoplights and only three restaurants.

Now, the guys have moved onto to the plan to widen our two-lane “highway” through town. You’ll excuse me if I go back to eavesdropping.

Where do you find inspiration for your writing? Eavesdropping? Local politics? Your reading?