5 Writing Prompts from My iPhone Notes

by Treehouse Editors

from David S. Osgood, author of McGovern’s Motors

When ideas come to me, I try to capture them–sometimes on a napkin, other times in a voice memo–but most times in my iPhone Notes. Here are five ideas for short stories which have not yet come to fruition (the third one is nonfiction!):

1. In 1972, my mother and father, both teenagers then, made love at the top of a broken Ferris wheel and created me. The rescuer on the ladder could not understand why they refused to come out from the capsule. When they emerged, they were wearing each other’s pants.

2. There’s a place we go when no one is looking, underneath the train tracks and below the earth, where we congregate like burrowed animals to share the brutality of life.

3. Nana lived in Massachusetts in a stone cottage that looked like an amalgamation of a gingerbread house and birdseed. Her chocolate chip cookies were so hard I had to bite with the gummy space where my wisdom teeth used to be. When she greeted us, her hyper lordotic posture corrected itself. Her smile was a gurn of dentures and overbite, her hug strong and endless.

4. Life span changes to 25 years. How do we change the world of growing up if we know it will only last this long?

5. A man driving down the highway passes an electronic sign announcing an amber alert for a missing person. It is his name, the description of his vehicle, and his license plate.


David S. Osgood is a short story writer. He resides in Holly Springs, North Carolina, where rural and suburban collide among crepe myrtles. David has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Southern California and a Master’s from Babson College.