Unexpected Writing Prompts

It’s amazing how the most unexpected things crop up and give an idea for a story. I was talking to a colleague at work and the usual ‘Did you see…?‘ conversation struck up. ‘No, I didn’t …‘ because I don’t have a TV. So she told me anyway.

The programme had been about a woman who kept her husband’s ashes and ate them to remain close to him after death. I recognised there are deep-seated psychological problems here, but what an opening for a story. Loss, longing, attachment, separation – they are all here. After all, we all write about the psychological state of our characters.

Without being demeaning and disrespectful to the woman concerned, there are a number of takes that can be gleaned from this; serious and sensitive, homourous and bizarre, or any combination of these. A picture of this woman immediately developed and I felt I wanted to write. I don’t know where it starts or where it’s going but pen and paper here I come.

What would you do with a subject like this? How would you treat it? What is the story that springs to mind for you?