Interestingly enough, just after I wrote my Write On Wednesday post about writers and their special friendships with other writers, I ran across a blurb in Orpah magazine about a new book called The Company They Kept: Writer's On Unforgettable Friendships, a collection of essays written by writer's regarding their writer friends. This isn't the first time I've had an idea about something and then seen it show up in published form somewhere else.
It started way back in the day when I was writing children's stories. The idea was for a picture book about two little boys who are friends, and all the things they liked to do together. Until one day, one of them does something the other one didn't like. So they storm off, mad at one another, only to realize how much they miss sharing all those things they liked to do together. I shopped the story around to different magazines, but it really needed illustrations to make it. And one day, in the bookstore, I saw a picture book by a very well known children's author with the exact same premise~on reading it, it was pretty much my story, too. Hmmm.
Not too long ago, I had an idea for a story or novel centered around a wedding dress that gets handed down through the generations of a family, and all the women who wear it. Lo and behold, I find a non-fiction book in the library called "My Life in Clothes," or something to that effect, which wasn't exactly the same idea, but close. It was a memoir centered about the author's wardrobe, and how it reflected her life through the years.
I suppose at least I can feel as if I have good instincts about ideas and what's "writable." But it's probably an indication that when I have an idea, I should get up off my butt and do something about it, because, if I don't, somebody else probably will.