Monsters Lurk is Plain Sight

Other than the MONSTROUS heat wave turning New York City into a large oven, I didn’t think I’d encounter any MONSTERS over the weekend, but…. Surprise, surprise, MONSTERS lurk in plain sight.

On Saturday, I was having lunch with a friend after we attended a daytime Tango dance. We went to a very nice Spanish restaurant on 19th Street. This time of year a salad and a glass of white Sangria is the perfect weekend lunch. We sat at the bar because the bartender is very nice and seems to know when to chat and when to walk away and let us enjoy our girl talk.

I was thinking about which salad to order and whether, given the extreme heat, I’d be better off with an iced tea, when I looked up and found myself face-to-face with a monster. No, the bartender did not turn out to be a werewolf — although he does have a very impressive mustache. No, I was facing the neatly arranged bottles and was eye level with a giant octopus on a bottle of rum.

The label read KRAKEN and the drawing of the giant sea beast reminded me of 17th century sailing maps. The bottle, an updated version of an old, pirate movie bottle o’ rum shape, was pretty cool too. I briefly considered a rum drink, just to try it, but I wanted to have steady sea legs to walk home.

I’d never thought about writing a sea creature story, but that giant octopus was talking to me and he wasn’t saying grilled pulpo for dinner. In fact, the more I ponder the possibilities as I write this post, the more likely a tale of tentacles, is to become a reality.

Back in May I pondered the vacation plans of vampires in a blog post here and wrote a story a few weeks later. That bottle of rum may yet yield a monstrous tale.

The next time a writer complains to me about time spent blogging or the next time I think — oh, I should be working on something else right now — I’m going to remember that monster of the deep and feel inspired to write a story.

Monsters and story ideas lurk in plain sight. And blogging is not a waste of time.


  1. Lisa Marcus

    I do agree that monsters and story ideas lurk in plain sight. The problem is that most are not open to recognize when these things happen right in front of them. Perhaps if people REALLY opened up their eyes they would see….

    • Candy

      In total agreement!
      Of course if I really, really, really opened my eyes maybe I’d see even more? Maybe the bartender with the lavish mustache would turn out to BE a werewolf and not just a nice guy?

    • Candy

      Yes. An amazing amount of my writing — or pre-writing — seems to occur at the gym, or in the shower, or when I’m simply playing with my cat. The keyboard helps to shape the story, but it doesn’t fly out of the screen.

      Unless, perhaps, I was writing a story about a computer that gets possessed? Umm, interesting idea…

  2. I don’t write about monsters but I can tell you that inspiration really does come from the real world. Yesterday I was going to do a simple blog post about this new gadget I’d bought but as I sat down to write a short story popped into my head! And yes, it did feature gadgets but was really about how humans relate to technology. And that came straight from my love/hate relationship with cleaning/labour saving gadgets!

    The brain works in mysterious ways. 😀

    • Candy

      The brain is mysterious — and that short story on your blog was terrific!

      Odd coincidence, earlier this evening I caught part of a report on the TV news about technology helping elderly people remain independent and in their own homes. Some of it was simple stuff, like learning how to use Skype to check in with relatives, but there was a robot in the story too.

      It may not take all that many years until we’ve got some kind of BOT at home.

      Inspiration is everywhere, hanging out with monsters…

      • I’m a great believer in tech helping older people stay independent but I know from my Mum and Dad that the older you get the harder it is to take new tech on board. I just hope that domestic bots make an appearance before I’m too old to enjoy them!

        • Candy

          Yes, teaching my parents to use computers, Kindles, etc. is challenging. When my mom is motivated — and she usually is — it works, but my dad…. He does love his Kindle! A robot for him, would have to talk about baseball. That would be the hook.

          The robots would have to fit into the person’s life and not the other way around.

          • Metan

            My 82 year old dad is probably an IT guys worst nightmare! I am really pleased that he and mum have embraced the internet though, it has delivered new interests right to their door. They probably don’t even realize how much they have let other tech creep into their lives. I’m with Andrea though, bring on the domestic bots!

          • Candy

            Your dad is probably an IT guy’s worst nightmare, but my 85-year-old dad IS the IT guy’s nightmare.

            A friend of mine is the ‘family’ IT guy. For the last few years, I’ve been in charge of doing ‘triage’ making sure when we really need to call him in. I’m laughing about this now, but…. the 500th time I showed him how to send an attachment I… well, let’s just say, I wasn’t laughing.

            I’m very happy that both of my parents have embraced the internet — to the extent of email and basic google searches. But the biggie is the Kindle. My mom has visual impairment issues. She said that the Kindle has changed her life. She can make the type larger and is reading tons and tons again! My dad got jealous so we got him one. SHE is in charge of teaching him. Registering it with the wireless code was hard enough…. He was hovering and hounding and…

            LOL… Oh, well… time to laugh.

          • Metan

            Ha! I know exactly what you mean! When I am instructing my dad over the phone he will say “yep” to everything regardless of what you have asked. What he means is “I can see what you are talking about” but what I hear is “I have done that” so I proceed with instructions…. 5 mins later I realize he is still back at “yep” and the steps start again….AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

  3. What if you find witches where you work, does that count lol? Or should it be wenches since it’s a bar at a VFW?! Liked your musings and loved the sea monster idea!

    • Candy

      How about witches who are wenches?
      Anyway, love the idea of colleagues turning out to have a surprising side. I’m very happy working alone at my desk, but colleagues were always full of interesting distractions. I can see how they might turn into inspiring monster stories. Let alone some monstrous boss tales!

  4. Candy,

    It was a delight to read this! I am not a personal fan of horror stories, although some of them are really interesting, but this was just inspiring to go and look for the contents of my plot outside 😀 which is what I’m actually doing most of the time! Sometimes a shocker is needed for me to realize that it is, in fact, the perfect piece for my puzzle.