A few days ago I wrote about my experiences talking with middle school kids about writing. Another question kids always asked is: Where do I get ideas for stories?
I had to admit I'm an eavesdropper. I love to sit in coffeehouses, restaurants, on park benches and watch people. I shared that I always carry a notebook and pen so I can write down my observations...the way someone uses his hands—pounding fist against open palm when making a point, or the coy shrug of one shoulder.
Yesterday I received an e-mail from one of the teachers whose class I visited last week. She wrote how several of her students have taken to carrying notebooks and jotting down their observations.
Learning that I made a positive impression on those kids was truly the high point of my day.