1. You rewrite the endings of movies in your head to create the outcome you want.
For example, did you know that Jack and Rose both survived the sinking Titanic, married, and lived happily ever after? Or that Captain Miller didn’t die saving Private Ryan. In my version, Ryan is the grandfather of the doctor who will discover the cure for cancer.
It was a little harder to rewrite Perfect Storm since I’ve been told it was a true story, but I managed to do it. I figure if politicians can rewrite history to suit them, I can rewrite it to suit me. All survived.
2. You keep lists of names of people and places you think may be interesting names in a story someday.
Do you suppose Steele Mattingly, Cincinnati Zoo’s former veterinarian, would be opposed to me using his name in a spy novel? I’ll put him in a safe house on Crooked Tree Road in Burnt Corn, Alabama. He’ll be there protecting a woman named Diamond Lee Kinsington. I kid you not.
3. You write scenarios to explain strange behavior.
Suppose you go to a garage sale where a woman is selling all of her husband’s sports equipment for next to nothing. Before you leave, you’ve created a scenario in your mind about what may have happened to him –or what is about to happen between them. Of course while you’re there you score a Calloway pitching wedge for a dollar. It’s a golf club. A good golf club.
4. You have scribbled notes everywhere of ideas you want to preserve.
You have a purse or pocketful of notes on napkins, envelopes, paper plates, church bulletins, and on the back of an important form your husband needs for work. Hey, he’s the one who left it on the kitchen table.
5. You speak with dialogue tags.
Woman at the store (okay, yes, it was me) “Tom loves to shop… she said sarcastically.”
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you may be a writer. Or just a person I'd like to know.