In a recent article that I was sent, the writer; Paul Lima; says that a freelance writer should ABC (always be curious). The point he makes is that a writer should always ask questions whether it be of a person they meet while walking the dog or at a social outing. I totally agree that a story can be found by asking the right questions but I realize that for me there is also the quirky ability to look at something ordinary and see a story. Case in point, I recently was taking a blouse off a wooden hanger when the hanger fell to the floor. When I picked it up I noticed that the initials EH were on the hanger. EH was my grandmother, a women who has been deceased for over 60 years. How this wooden hanger found its way into my closet I am not sure. I know that it has been there for over 40 years but this day I saw it as a story. What kind of clothes have hung on it over the years? Did it once hang in a closet in my grandparents farm-house, holding one of my grandmother’s cotton house-dresses or was it a place of honour for a black or maybe blue, crepe dress for special occasions. It would have been worn for church, a wedding or a funeral, as these are the only places my grandmother would have gone to dressed up. Perhaps the dress would have been accessorized with a string of pearls and a lace trimmed handkerchief would have peaked out of the long sleeve. I do remember finding a faux Persian Lamb coat in a cardboard wardrobe and this hanger would have been strong enough to support a heavy coat. What kinds of stories could this hanger tell about the clothes that graced its shoulders?
Was the hanger shocked by the clothes that I use it for? There would have been nothing prim and proper hanging off it over the past years. Styles have changed so much since my grandmother first hung this wooden hanger in her closet.
The point that I am making is that an ordinary clothes hanger may have its own story to share with the world. I wish that I could ask it (ABC) to tell me about its life but alas it is only a wooden hanger.
Paul Lima is correct is telling freelance writers to be curious but sometimes a crazy imagination can produce a story too.