At the last writer’s group I scribbled a note to myself on the back on a manuscript I was working on. First reader saw it lying face down on the printer with the note clearly visible.
She: “What’s this? ‘VooDoo Christmas’? Is this what this story’s about?”
Me: “No, that one’s not ready to show yet. The note is my assignment for next week. 500 words on the theme ‘VooDoo Christmas.’”
She: “You mean like Papa Legba meets Papa Noel?”
Me (Having that flash of RECOGNITION in mid sentence): “No…I mean YES! That’s it exactly!”
And it was. “Cold Christmas,” finished this morning. Only it was 1300 words, not 500. Whatever the story wants, the story gets, but still pretty short for a story from me. But all kudos to First Reader. My story, but her idea.