I was fascinated by the first successful face transplant, on Nov. 31, 2005, when a 38-year-old French woman received—literally—a new outlook on life. As reported by Time magazine’s Jeffrey Kluger, “No surgery quite crosses the existential line the way transplant surgery does. Create a single chimeric human with the tissues of another and the very sense of self goes wobbly.” My interest was more in the poetry of undying love than in Gray’s Anatomy, asking if the face is a reflection of the person within. That’s the thesis behind “Ghost of a Valentine,” at http://www.everydayfiction.com/ghost-of-a-valentine-by-walter-giersbach/
News items like this make me run to the PC. William Gibson (Spook Country) grabbed me last week when he wrote, “She remembered [him] describing Stockholm syndrome, the fondness and loyalty one could supposedly come to feel for even the most brutal captor.... America had developed Stockholm syndrome toward its own government, post 9/11.”
Great concept! This has taken me into writing a mystery about a wealthy, educated career woman apparently disappears. Going missing, however, isn’t murder. It turns out that with all the achievement and wealth, she escapes from her “kidnappers” of parents, boyfriend, career, and education.
Other idea-generators have included a feature in the China Post surmising that most cubicle rats have “office spouses”" (every editor was outraged at this one), a blog from numerologists worrying about the number 11 (below, sold to Bewildering Stories), a news item about Chinese studying how magnets make it possible to “read” a hidden newspaper (“Magnetic Resonance,” waiting for an acceptance), and a psychologist describing Capgras syndrome, in which a family member becomes unrecognizable (sold to Mouth Full of Bullets).
Amazing how ideas can be transformed into fiction. Grab them, jot them down, shaken them up, let them ferment--and then see what comes out of the bottle.