This is how world-class writing gets produced and I'm sure I'm only one in a long line of creative artists keeping notes of this kind. Steinbeck probably wrote in his notebook, 'Two itinerant workers; Great Depression; tragedy; could be a great GCSE text'. Austen, I'm sure, had a little notebook in the pocket of her apron in which she jotted down 'Two sisters; one sensible; one romantic' or 'Damp man emerges from lake; myriad BBC adaptations?' ready for when she'd finished her Bible verse cross-stitch.
Here's the list that's in my notebook, just as I've written it. Don't be tempted to steal my ideas, mind. I am putting my trust in you here.
Square cows with corners in field
The swinging coat hanger - creak, creak, creak
Sign outside old people's home: Later Living!
Sheep look dirty in snow
Scaffolding in alley near Tesco
Seagulls have knobbly knees
I've been turning these ideas over in my mind and wondering how I can incorporate them all into a coherent piece of work: a novel that will win the Booker prize and enable me, at last, to buy that mansion in the country with Gothic windows and a resident housekeeper who'd bring me Marmite sandwiches and Nutella pancakes at the ring of a little bell.
For now, inspiration is proving elusive. And if it refuses to come, I may just have to use my ideas for individual blog posts and earn my millions another way. Watch this space.
In the absence of literary genius, just for the moment, here's a picture of my grandson Elijah for you. This is what my son calls 'playing with the baby'. One day, Elijah is going to be with a therapist, reliving this memory ....