Written By Sherwood Kohn

Someone wrote me a note the other day, asking where we at Carroll Magazine get our ideas for stories. It was one of those questions that make you reexamine what you do and how you do it.

To begin with, our ideas come out of the air. No, I am not being flippant. It’s true. Ideas are, indeed, in the air. They are all around us. The trick is to be open to them, to observe closely what surrounds us, to be sensitive, not only to what people are interested in, but to what we as editors and writers might find of value to our lives and the lives of our readers.

Most people take their daily actions for granted. Did they sleep well last night? What did they have for breakfast? How did they get to work? Where did they eat lunch? What are their relationships with their spouses, their children, their pets? What are their aspirations? What do they wear? What is happening in their homes, their workplaces, their communities?

All of those subjects are grist for our mill. We examine them and many others for clues about what you, our readers, would like us to put under a magnifying glass. We are curious.

In fact, curiosity lies at the core of our creativity. As fellow human beings who experience many of the same events in our daily lives as you do, we want to know what makes things tick. Sometimes we want to peel back the layers of existence to discover what lies beneath. Sometimes we just want to observe, for the sake of beauty or uniqueness or just plain newsworthiness, the sea of events that we all swim in.

Editors and writers are trained, like artists, to see; I mean really see. Many people live most of their lives without really observing what is around them; the things that poets write about: the concretes of being, the aspects of life that stir your emotions, the smell of cut grass, the warmth of a winter fireplace, the melting ice of a sliced cucumber, the excitement of a senior prom. All of these are our
stock in trade.

But that is only part of the picture. Carroll Magazine is a service publication. We look for ways to help you in your daily lives. We explore the community to inform you, to tell you things about the people who are your neighbors and the place in which you live, to give you as broad a choice as possible of things to do, places to go and events to attend.

And last, but most importantly, we listen to you. We keep our ears and minds open to your suggestions for stories, and given their relative degree of interest, we act to share them with all of our readers.

So yes, we get a lot of ideas out of the air. It is, in the final analysis, the stuff we all breathe.