Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Finding Stories

So you all know that I make these cookies to sell, right? And there's a certain kind of flour (among other things) that goes into them that makes them look like this.



Although the flour is available at Costco, the past two weeks it has been unavailable. Apparently, some "company" has been coming in and buying  pallets of it as soon as it's delivered and leaving the shelves bare until the next shipment arrives. And not just one Costco, but every single one in the Salt Lake Area--about 8 or 9 stores. That is a whole lot of flour!

So I went to the mill that supplies the flour and asked them if I could buy the 25 lb. bags there. "No, we are all sold out," the clerk said. I told her about my Costco experience. I said, "I'd like to know who is doing this and what they are doing with all that flour."

She said, "Well, I'd like to know what the man's doing with all the flour he bought the other day. This guy comes in and buys an entire pallet of whole wheat flour. That's a lot. It's like 90 bags. And whole wheat flour doesn't keep that well, so why does he want so much?"

When I told my husband about all this, he said, "Maybe someone  is stockpiling it. Wonder what the winter wheat crop has been?" He researches it on the internet and learns that the winter wheat crop was bountiful. He also learns that Russia had a plentiful wheat crop as well and is trying to import it to the United States.

"Aha!!"  I exclaim. "That's it! It's the Russian Mafia, trying to create a demand by purchasing massive amounts of flour throughout the U.S. and creating a false shortage."

Well, anyway, there's the story.  Stories are everywhere, if you pay attention and connect the dots. Whether they intrigue you enough to write about them is another matter. Although it's fun to imagine the scenario about the Russian Mafia, I don't want to write about it. It's not really my genre. But if anyone else does, feel free!

35 comments:

  1. You have a vivid imagination, Karen! Maybe the real story is when you hunt him down and reclaim your flour.

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOL! I thought you'd say it was someone trying to make the world's biggest chocolate chip cookie. But that was probably my empty tummy talking...

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Russian Mafia? Sure, why not. Reminds me of "The Great Grain Robbery" in 1972 — but that was a long time ago.
    Fortunately, you had enough to make a table full of chocolate chip cookies. That'll work for a day or two, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha ha, great one! And I agree, stories are everywhere, and often turn up when you're not looking for them :o)

    ReplyDelete
  5. How odd. But a great story!

    I'm feeling hungry looking at those great cookies!

    ReplyDelete
  6. If there's a flood of whole wheat bread on the market, you know the source.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Karen, that is so odd. Now I am really curious who is doing it and why. Not curious enough to write about it, but darned curious, indeed.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  8. Russian Mafia or no, I'm now desperate to know who's buying up all that flour and why. I'm not sure it's really my genre either but it's a fascinating problem. Do let us know if you find out.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ha ha, cute post! I'm really curious about the flour now too, I love a good mystery. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. It sure makes a good blog post. By the end I really, really wanted to know where all that flour had gone.

    ReplyDelete
  11. No, I had no idea you made and sold cookies. Why are there no free samples?

    My mind would go straight to the sinister motivations of the man buying up the flour. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can tell we think alike, Karen. :)

    I've entered the research stage for my second novel. My inspiration? A question that has long intrigued me.

    In the mid-1970s my parents and I moved to the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. A few hundred yards from the edge of our land stood Palestine Church, an old wooden building no longer used for weekly services. Almost every day I would walk from our home to the all-but abandoned building to play the upright piano that had been left behind. And every time I went, I stopped to look at the tombstone that had been placed under the church in the corner to the left of the steps.

    Why was the tombstone there and not in the cemetery? What caused her to die so young? Why didn't she merit her own name on her tombstone, only that of her husband, a preacher? Was it in honor of a beloved and revered reverend? Or was there a darker, more sinister reason? I'm sure you can guess which theory is prompting my book. :)

    Speaking of novels, I can't wait until House of Diamonds hits the streets in September. Congratulations!

    Michelle
    http://michellefayard.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ha! I just finished writing a mystery that involved the Russian mafia in Portland. Surely they really must be responsible! teehee

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hhahaha. Gotta love the imagination of writers. It's so true. Stories can come from anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hehe. I let my imagination like that run wild too. Thanks for the story! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. How intriguing!! Maybe it's to feed a giant Cookie Monster! LOL!

    Oh I do hope you find your flour - your cookies look so yummy!!! Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  17. But what ARE they doing with all the flour?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Me, I would wait for the next shipment from Costco and then camp out to see who it is that is 'stealing' all the flour from the populace. Demand he not take it all.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The flour mystery!

    Yummy cookies-how inventive of you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Very nice, Karen - that's an engrossing little story just there. Reminded me of something by Raymond Carver.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hehe I like that the Russian mafia is up to date on what they need to be making false shortages of.

    But I wonder what's going on with all that flour??

    ReplyDelete
  22. LOL Don't think I'm buying the Russian Mafia line but I really want to know "the rest of the story." Oh that's so sad. I really need a life *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  23. OMGosh, this is so funny. I was cracking up. I think you should go stake out the Costco and see who is buying out the flour!

    P.S. Your cookies look so, so good.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Excellent scenario - you could take it so many directions. I wouldn't write it either, but you know enough people that maybe you could get someone to write it, then publish through your publishing co. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sorry, I'm completely distracted by the picture of the cookies and can think of nothing else. Yummy.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'd rather write about chocolate chip cookies for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great story, Karen! I'm wondering what he's really doing with all the flour. I hope you get some soon. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have nothing interesting to say except now I want a cookie and I DO believe it is the Russian Mafia taking flour

    ReplyDelete
  29. You are so right. There is a story in everything if you know how to look for it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Cookies, flour, mafia! I think I am lost!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hoarding flour?! That's a lot of chocolate chip cookies. Very strange.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I wish you would post what is happening to the flour when you find out...please?

    ReplyDelete
  33. That's a very interesting conspiracy theory, imagine if they're doing that right through the country.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I've been away and am still playing blog-catch-up, but just HAD to say, your cookies look delicious! :)

    Russian mafia. Love it!

    Amy

    ReplyDelete