My desk takes up a small corner of my living room. It is next to a window, which is a good thing and a bad thing. The window provides much needed light for my work, but it also provides as much distraction as a television. The least thing pulls my attention away from what I should be doing.
I have noticed, the past few days, a number of circling vultures above the woods behind my neighbors' and my properties. This morning, I noticed a large contingent of them sitting in the trees in my neighbors' yard.
In the country, such a sight is not that odd. Animals die--cats, dogs, skunks, coyotes--it happens. The vultures are nature's disposals; they take care of the waste.
But, when I see a large group of them so close to home, my imagination starts to work. Come to think of it, I haven't seen my neighbors--either of them--in at least a month. The person who seems to be staying there has stayed at the house before; these neighbors seem to travel a great deal. So he's not a stranger. Yet...
The problem with being a writer is that my imagination tends to take me on these wild journeys through what might be possible. The writer in me says, "Suppose the person staying there has murdered the homeowners? There's that privacy fence they put up. The nosy neighbor could get a stool or ladder and look over the fence in the backyard..." And, thus, the premise for a short story or novel rears its head.
And that's fine. Writers have to get their ideas somewhere. But it's also distracting...I should be working on coursework, and I'm sitting here dreaming up a novel or story. Usually, I just write myself a note for later and go back to what I was doing. But, sometimes, the idea is so compelling that it derails me...and that's not always a good thing!