Nothing to write about? You’re not trying…

In fact it’s almost the opposite; there’s almost nothing not worth writing about..!

I’m sitting in the casual bar of a reasonably up-market hotel as I write this. In front of me a panoply of characters and interactions, of dialogues and intrigues, of mystery and emotion. Actually there’s a whole short story collection right here!

Take the couple opposite. She came in first, solo. Short hair, male cut. Comfy shoes. She sits down alone. A few minutes later, a man – huge, bearded, older – appears with two pints of lager. There’s a frisson. Ahhh.

Not what I was expecting. But what’s the story there – because there is one? And of course, I don’t know what it is, but I could make it mine. I could steal them, make those two complete strangers mine.

Or the two businessmen across the way. Middle-ranking in all probability. Sharing stories; indulging in that little commercial indiscretion beers in hotel bars always seem to induce. Are they really on the same team, or is one playing the other?

Or the couple a little way to my left. He, older, greying but still with a ponytail(!); she, of indeterminate age. There is no frisson there but rather aggression, voices too loud, arguments about onion rings. Playful or not? What lies beneath the surface? An under-current of threat perhaps..?

Sit in any cafe or bar or restaurant for perhaps half an hour. Go in with a notebook and leave with the bones of a collection of short stories. Perfect material – and so wide open for you to do with as you will. Characters on a plate.

Almost literally…