A Tale of Two Clocks

People always ask me, “Where do you get your ideas?” I alway say that ideas are all around, it’s just a matter of taking several ideas and plugging them together like legos. Sooner or later you’ll get an interesting shape, and from there, you can hang your story.

Well, here’s a real life example:

These two clocks are the only analog clocks in the living room. The one on the left is a pendulum clock with chimes above the fireplace and it worked for years until it started getting sluggish. I did all the self maintenance that I could, including lubricating the jewels with the recommended oil, but it just doesn’t work any more. It finally gave up the ghost at 4:40 and someday I’ll replace it.

The clock on the right runs for about a year on a single AA battery, with the balls rotating back and forth. It resides just to the left of the TV and just a quick glance to see the time. That is until the battery ran down—at 4:40. We were busy, so I didn’t get around to replacing the battery until tonight, but for some time I’d look at these two clock, and ponder the significance of them running down with the same time showing.

I honestly just think it’s random chance, but wouldn’t that be an interesting introduction to a story with supernatural foreshadowing of some significant event. Something that would happen at 4:40.

But… this is just two ideas, not enough for me to be inspired to write a story. Maybe someday another random fact will plug together with these two clocks and get me started. Maybe not. But there are always more ideas out there. You just need to plug them together to make something interesting.