One hour of work. I did not move from my computer, just glanced around. (A little worried about what you'll think of my decor, but, lol, here we go) 51 of 1000
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The communal family grocery list begins to display increasingly bizarre, and then threatening messages among the “milk” and “strawberry jam.” Could go horror...
...or psych. thriller with this grocery list tale.
Upon searching the house after the funeral, relatives find evidence of crimes hidden in bespoke furniture designed to hide things: chairs whose seats lift to reveal a recess, sofas with hollow arms, etc. They argue over whether to notify the police or not.
Opening scene: a man sees his only daughter hit by a car and killed. Then a descent into divorce, alcoholism, despair. The last 2/3 of the book is his recovery journey.
Haunted house. None of the lights will turn off. Then none of the appliances. Who/what is haunting, and can the exorcist get rid of them? Romance B story
Haunted house: pockets of cold despite the hot climate. Two timeline story, going back to a polar explorer ancestor. Of course there’s some critical parallel between the current time house inhabitant and the previous inhabitant that solves the current person’s problem of (choose one: inexplicably silent child, missing spouse, undiagnosable disease)
The half-empty bottle of wine on the counter in a domestic drama short story, with a couple arguing, seems both a metaphor and a literal object of contention. It ends up being a Chekov’s gun.
The strange taste in the water pipes ends up coming from a rotting human body. The person who complained about the taste ends up being the murderer, who has forgotten committing the crime, and this baffles police for a long time. Clue-clue-red herring-reveal.
Digging a new garden plot for the spring, in New Mexico, a human skeleton is found. There is a wedding ring with Cyrillic lettering, the date 1937, and an investigation leads to a buried secret about The Trinity Project and russian spies. (the digging up the corpse is only a framing device for the historical mystery/spy story/with integrated romance.)
Same story as above, but the romance is gay, leading to a rather different story of science, spies, and forbidden love in 1944.
A gold prospector (in 2022) feuds with a neighboring prospector until they escalate into violence. Crime.
A gold prospector (in 2022) feuds with a neighboring prospector until the point they no longer notice when a seam of gold appears or both properties and someone else claim jumps them. Lit fic with irony.
A gold prospector (in 2022) feuds with a neighboring prospector until they fall in love. Romance.
A gold prospector (in 2022) feuds with a neighboring prospector until all other local prospectors decide to gather resources to buy the feuders out and make an educational center on mining for their rural area. A MG story with some subtle life lessons of organizing, community, and making lemonade out of lemons.
A mysterious skin ailment becomes stranger and stranger until its sufferer is being covered by a thick carapace of chitin.
In story 1 of “skin disease,” it’s a horror story. They’re becoming a monster.
In story 1a, they’re a misunderstood monster, a nice monster.
In story 1a (1), that’s a romance. Beauty and the beast.
In story 1a (2), it’s a tragedy that ends with monster killing itself
In story 2 of “skin disease,” it’s SF, and this is some kind of alien virus preparing humans for the arrival of caparce-y aliens who are going to
2a: communicate useful stuff to us which of course we’ll never listen to because paranoia, military, blahblah or
2b: Mars wants women + triffids. They’re manipulating our DNA to plant their insectoid eggs into us and so that we can complete the life cycle.
The basket weaver’s apprentice. A MG tale of being taken from a family young in a sort of cultural exchange deal, learning a craft, being a learner, slowly building a skill, meeting new people and expanding one’s understanding of the world… real life in a village some 2500 years ago.
The haunted saw. A two-man saw has, over many generations, killed its owners by smashing them with trees. When Grant inherits it from the abandoned farm of his long-missing grandfather (discovered mid-story as a skeleton in the woods, and merely displays it as art, it does its damnedest to kill him nevertheless, starting with falling off the wall.
Two scientists arguing over the cause of a major extinction event escalate from arguing in papers to in person to increasing acts of sabotage, starting rumors, seducing spouses, and eventually violence.
Guitar stories 1. A strict father and teen son argue about guitar practice and yet, through music, for the first time since the kid was six or seven, find an emotional connect through the music.
Guitar stories 2. One of those stories that follows the object, a 1910 era parlor guitar, along through several owners each of whom has a problem, dilemma, crime, grief, or something that the guitar witnesses. Each story is 3 pages or so.
Guitar stories 3. A luthier in a magical faux-medieval world is secretly a dark wizard. And his instruments are designed to make their owners do wicked things…
Guitar stories 4. A guitarist on a generational spaceship, the only one left alive while others are in stasis, sings to the sleeping people and makes up songs about them. As he goes increasingly nuts from isolation, his songs get odder and what he makes up more dramatic, dark, bizarre.
Guitar stories 4a. And when they wake, the songs have come true. He has changed their memories and psychology with those strange songs. (go as Lovecraftian as you want with this)
Guitar stories 5. A rock musician has an encounter with a groupie...who becomes a stalker...who becomes a killer of everything he loves
Guitar stories 6. Rock musician finds true love with groupie: a steamy romance with HEA and wish-fulfillment for female reader.
Guitar stories 6a. Gender switch #6. She’s the star and guitarist; he’s the groupie. Still romance, still HEA.
Guitar stories 7. A rock musician is a sexual predator and a prosecutor is determined to build a case that gets the guy convicted and in jail.
Guitar stories 8. That prosecutor, having failed three times at building a case against famous musician/pedophile, breaks and becomes a criminal himself, wreaking havoc in the bad guy’s life, but becoming a bad guy in turn, losing spouse, family, everything in his desire for revenge.
Guitar stories 9. A session musician whose licks are famous but attributed to famous musician instead seeks recognition, but famous musician thwarts him at every turn.
Guitar stories 9a. A session musician puts up with a raging, egotistical, and not very talented headliner singer, while exacting revenge in some clever way I haven’t figured out yet but I will. ;)
Guitar stories 9b. A female session musician in the 1960s and her affairs and problems with sexism and secretly building money to buy out the studio from under the not-very-prudent and drug-addicted current owner. (Nod to Carol Kaye here!)
Guitar stories 9c. The wild antics of a group of session musicians: creativity, laughter, sex, for six golden years. Then the world of their kind of music shifts to something that doesn’t include them, and it all falls apart, as life will. (Nod to The Wrecking Crew.) Comedic, then bittersweet, mainstream novel.
Guitar stories 9a (1). Session musician puts up with raging, egotistical headerliner but is willing to because of a quiet and dedicated love. Unrequited love story where you could make us sympathize with the long-suffering musician or make us think s/he was kind of an idiot.
Guitar stories 9d. A session musician’s take on a famous musician’s descent into madness seen through session recordings. (Think: Brian Wilson/Syd Barrett/Robert Schumann even, if you go back a ways, though there were no ‘session recordings’ then, of course)
Guitar stories 9e. A groups of successful, respected, and functional session musicians (back to The Wrecking Crew again) fall apart when one of their members dies accidentally.
Seed pods: decorative dried seed pods, from Evil Foreign Country, distributed through craft stores and Amazon, have been bioengineered so that when they pop open/are broken, a plant disease is released, devastating the agriculture of that country. Evil Foreign Country has bioengineered their own crops so they’re the only fed civilization.
Mom can’t get her kid to quit eating glue. Kid steals it, does anything to get it. Mom can’t figure it out, doctors can’t, the relationship deteriorates.
Mom can’t get her kid to quit eating glue, etc, but after a phase of conflict, gives up and it ends up the glue does kid no harm anyway. Happy ending.
Hoarder story: person who watches too many home décor TV shows/reads magazines is a hoarder of stuff like placemats, napkins, napkin rings, serving dishes. She (probably, sorry to be sexist!) is such a hoarder her family can’t find forks and knives or necessary items, for all the kitchen space is taken up with decorative items.
Hoarder story ending 1A) she needs serious help and they talk her into getting it
Hoarder story ending 1B) it’s all a comedy and they learn to live with and love crazy Mom
Hoarder story ending 1C) it was all a ruse to get her family to move out. She succeeds!
The haunted ceiling fan. This is going to get bloody.
The story the medical guy told me about the creative roleplaying lovers, she is tied up, he is in nothing but a cowboy hat, yeehaw, he jumps onto bed and the ceiling fan smacks him on the head, knocks him out, he’s bleeding profusely because scalp wounds do, and she’s tied up and has to figure out how to call 911. (Sorry, real couple this happened to, but it’s pretty funny to the rest of us. And he was fine after a couple of stitches, so don't worry!)
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So now I know. 50 ideas is possible in one good hour.