22 June 2013

Airplane Travel

I get the best writing ideas when I travel. I don’t know what it is, but I look around in the airport terminal or on the plane, and see more stories than I could tell in a life time.

For instance, while making my way to my rear-ish seat for the first leg of our flight to Israel, I thought about the people who were already comfortably seated and watching me as I wandered by with my back pack, pillow and “personal carry on item.”

Someone might be on their very first plane ride. There are a few kids onboard, so this is likely. But there could be an adult for whom this is their first ride as well. If so, why? Do they hate flying? Never had the money before?

Perhaps this is someone’s first time out of their own state. Or someone’s first trip to New York.  Or, as is my case, where is everyone headed after New York? If a super virus got let loose through the air system in this plane, how far would it travel in the next 24 hours? I’m going to Israel. Who knows where others are headed.

On the opposite spectrum, perhaps this is someone’s last flight. They may know they are dying, or it could happen unexpectedly. This could be the last time someone will see a loved one. Or there could be a handful of people going to funerals.

What about international adoptions? Business trips? Family obligations? Vacations? The list goes on and on. Then you start delving into who each of these people are, and why they are here, and what else is going on in their lives, and you just might get a story or two worth telling.

My mind always tosses in some sort of super-natural element, which makes things really interesting. Are there guardian angels sitting on the wings? Will someone time travel back before we all got on board and thwart a terrorist plot? Is there a wizard on board who can’t control their powers?

Sorry, it’s the geek in me that goes off like that.

There are stories all around us. Even better, there are bits and pieces of stories littering the world like dust, ready to be picked up and put into your latest novel or short story.  So take the time to look around and see what’s going on. You might find a bit of inspiration you’ve been waiting for.

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