Ideas are All Around You

I often goggle at people who want to be writers, complaining that they can’t come up with any ideas. I just can’t conceive how that’s possible. I stumble over so many ideas for possible stories as I cruise through the web everyday, that I couldn’t use them all in a whole lifetime.

Here’s the article I just found on Boing Boing that started me off on this post. The Lab Accident that Led to the Discovery of Supertasters. I’ve been mildly interested in the topic every since I learned about because it explained my peculiar taste buds. Yes, I’m a supertaster, and it turns out that having more than the usual number of a certain type of taste buds has evolutionary advantages.

Because of my genetic twist, I can’t stand alcohol, coffee, oversteeped tea, too-ripe eggplant, or artificial sweeteners. They’re all extremely bitter. The discovery of the supertasters actually started with smell. One scientist could smell a chemical and the other couldn’t. That’s another area where I’m peculiar — smelling things that other people can’t detect. It explains why my husband couldn’t detect that some freshly bought ground beef was just starting to go bad. Turned me off anything with ground beef for quite a while.

What’s the point of all this? Stories! Now that I’ve suddenly connected with this topic, I know that it’s going to be tumbling around in the mental back room until one day the idea for a science fiction novel or short story is going to pop out.

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5 thoughts on “Ideas are All Around You

  1. I’m not a supertaster, but I smell things other people don’t, often very strongly. I don’t know if these are olfactory hallucinations, though. Brain abnormalities run in my family, and both my maternal grandparents died from brain cancer.

    Just curious, do you find any obvious advantage to being a supertaster?

    1. Those abnormalities might just be evolutionary advantages in the right circumstances. The only advantage I can see about being a supertaster in my own life is that it saves me a heck of a lot of money, and maybe protects me from possible addiction. No need to spend money on coffee and alcohol. I’ve smelled traces of smoke, gas (not leaks, but the chemical that’s in gas as a warning of a leak, the going-bad ground beef. Nothing lifesaving yet. There are social disadvantages to not being able to drink alcohol and attempts have been made to disguise it from me. Doesn’t work, though.

  2. Thank you for writing this! So many tell me they can’t ever come up with ideas. I think part of it is that in a general sense, many ideas have already appeared in stories. What many aspiring writers don’t realize when they make this complaint is that the specifics and the characters are what makes a pre-owned idea into something shiny and “new.”

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