Q is for Quilt (Skim to the underlined genre or style that best suits you.)
Ideas can’t be copyrighted, so these ideas are free for you to use.
Snuggle up with a bit of Romance. When Grandma Mabel, who’s a little bit blind and a little bit forgetful, gives a quilt that’s a family heirloom to her home health care provider rather than to Jason’s bride-to-be (as intended), he sets off to find the caregiver on her weekend off. When he finally tracks her down at the café where she waitresses (second job), he has to wait until she’s on break to talk to her. And that’s when the bug for romance bites him good.
True, he has a fiancé, but he’s been watching this cheerful waitress for over an hour, and though he tries, he can’t seem to turn away. She works two jobs and yet remains energetic and cheerful. If she’s tired, she hides it well. And she’s so kind to everyone, even the old widowers who spend the morning drinking coffee and shaking dice, and then don’t leave more than a dime for a tip. How can he not be attracted to her?
Mystery. Justin stops by to see the publisher of his last novel, intent on explaining why his next book can’t be the sequel expected. Upon arriving, the door is open a crack and Justin steps in. He calls out. No answer, but he smells smoke. He wanders to the kitchen, sees nothing at first. Then he notices a body wrapped in a quilt on the floor, and smoke rising from ashes in a trash bin that apparently had been burning not too long ago. He knows he shouldn’t touch even a corner of the quilt to see the face of the victim, but he can’t resist. With the pause of a burglar, he takes a peek. It’s the publisher’s wife, and she has no pulse. (Okay, that should get you writers started.)
Literary. In a writers’ workshop a few years back, I read someone’s short story about a woman who was supposedly making love to her husband, but the whole time, she was looking at the light fixture and wondering little things like, Should she get a new one? There’s a really nice one at Home Depot. Maybe something a little bigger, or at least brighter–more bulbs. Her thoughts went on like this through the whole two minutes, or thirty, I don’t remember.
What if Sue was involved in some other task with her husband? Making love is okay, but maybe she’s helping him with some hobby they’d always shared together. She’s having a hard time focusing now, because she no longer finds purpose in their hobby. While she’s mechanically working alongside her husband, she’s thinking about a quilt her mother had given her, one passed down from the grandmother of the lover Mom took shortly after Sue was born. She remembered a few stories her mother had told her about different pieces in the quilt, and the more she thinks about the beautiful spread, the more stories come back to her. She can’t get the quilt out of her mind, which causes her to fumble in answering questions her husband asks. “Honey, are you going to pass me that glue, or what?”
Glue? I can’t think of glue right now.
Middle Grade or Young Adult. Kristen is going to be moving soon, and she’s not liking it. She’ll never see her friends again. Wait, what friends? Her BFF already blocked her from Facebook, and Kristen isn’t even sure why, other than the fact that Jeremy seemed more into her than into her friend. But is that her fault? Maybe moving won’t be so bad. As she prepares to move, she sets her mind on mending a few friendships. She has some successes, and some total flops. She starts to worry that maybe this is it. Though she’ll have Facebook, will she ever again feel really connected to these people she grew up with? What makes her feel even worse is the fact that her BFF is the one person who hasn’t been responding to any messages. No Facebook, email, or Twitter. Had the argument over Jeremy really end a longtime friendship?
Her answer comes in the way of a going away gift–a quilt. Each of her friends have cut into a beloved piece of clothing to get one 12-inch square from it, then they worked together to stitch Kristen a gift of love. Favorite articles of clothing were used so that Kristen could look at each piece and remember exactly who it was from. It’s a memory blanket. And guess who was the one who came up with the idea? What a way to mend a friendship with your BFF and show how true friendship never dies, despite arguments and misunderstandings.
What ideas can you pull off the top of your head? If you can offer some in genres I didn’t cover, such as horror, sci-fi, or fantasy, please share! Readers will appreciate it.