Weird & Wacky News Items Make Fodder for The Pen

by JoslynChase in Storytelling, Travel, Writing

Bizarre shark rising from oceanI love writing. And I believe the stories I write are suspenseful, entertaining, and emotionally engaging. But let’s face it, sometimes it takes a bizarre premise or opening paragraph to grab us as readers and pull us into a story. Weird and wacky news items make good fodder for the pen.

I am always on alert for something out of the ordinary to pique interest for readers. A new way of looking at something, a strange turn of events, a mysterious coincidence. And so on.

And believe me, there’s plenty out there. In this era of social media, we don’t even need to go out looking for it—it’s everywhere. Let me share a few of the curious items I’ve come across in my travels:

Unprecedented Art Heist

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Denmark. We had a wonderful time, but it wasn’t until we returned that I read about this gem:

Two empty canvases on displayThe Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg commissioned two paintings by Jens Haaning whose previous works included pieces representing annual incomes for workers in Denmark and Austria. The paintings incorporated real cash, so when the museum gave Haaning what amounts to $84,000, they expected him to use it in similar fashion for the new works.

Instead, when they opened the box sent by the artist, they found two empty frames. The new paintings were entitled: Take The Money and Run.

New twist on an old trope

You’ve heard of being switched at birth, but how about switched at death?

Really, this sounds like something I could make into a riveting story. Two North Carolina sisters went to view their mother’s body and found a stranger inside the casket. The funeral home denied any mistake and I imagine those sisters felt like they were in an episode of The Twilight Zone.People at a funeral

Eventually, the mother’s body turned up in the embalming room and was restored to her rightful coffin.

Anyone else find this disturbing?

New use for an old car

We have some good friends who bought an old ambulance and converted it into a “campulance,” a nifty camper with built-in bunks and appliances. Okay, cool.

But how about the couple who travels through Scotland in a converted hearse they call The Grim Sleeper? They saw the hearse advertised on Facebook and just couldn’t pass it up since it was something neither of them had seen before.

“I think with it being a hearse, it puts people off due to its previous passengers,” one of them said. “But it just works so well as a camper if you can get past that part.”

May the happy couple rest in peace.

A blast from my past

How’s this for weird and wacky? Years ago, after returning from a tour of duty in Spain, this crazy news item occupied the air waves in western Washington where I lived:

Two men where fighting for custody in the courts. What were they fighting over? A leg.

Man A’s leg had been amputated and he’d kept it, for some bizarre reason, inside a smoker in a storage unit. When he failed to pay the storage bill, the contents of his locker were auctioned off and one lucky bidder won the smoker.

When Man B discovered a severed human leg inside the smoker, he decided to capitalize on his find. He put the leg on display and charged admission. When Man A found out about it, he sued for custody of the leg.

I may write fiction, folks, but I am not making this up.

Odd and Odder Writing Fodder

Panda making a phone callThese weird and wacky items represent just the tiniest skim off the top of what’s out there. It’s a wild and wacky world we live in, with a whole lot of good going on, bad things as well, and crazy, bizarre, weirdness too. Keeping it interesting.

I love my job! Really, writing mysteries, thrillers, and suspense fiction is challenging, fun, and fascinating every day I go to work. I so enjoy crafting stories I know readers will love, and I appreciate the readers who support me in that. Thank you!

How about you? Got a bizarre news item to share? Tell us about it in the comments.

8 Responses to “Weird & Wacky News Items Make Fodder for The Pen”

  1. Don Ham says:

    Interesting stories. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction! Best to you and Terry, I miss our conversations!

  2. Wow! That’s quite a collection of bizarre realities! Enough fodder for a writer.

    • JoslynChase says:

      Hello, Indrani! Yes, but there’s oh so much more. I just picked the top four or five that came to mind. The world abounds 🙂
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I always appreciate it.

  3. myles mcdonald says:

    love your little gems of stories and about how you get the juices going ,made my day

  4. Pauline Mau-Graham says:

    I really enjoyed reading these true stories; I don’t remember the auctioned leg one. Please, email me a list of your books so I can order them. I have not been reading for a while and want to get back into it but I am not sure which author, besides you, would be a good read. I like series usually, but really good written single books are good too.

    • JoslynChase says:

      Hello Pauline! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I remember how intrigued/amused/blown away I was by that leg in the smoker story when we were house shopping in Mason County. Crazy!
      Glad to hear you’re getting back into reading–such a fun and wonderful way to spend time. I sent you an email with some suggestions and links.
      Take care!

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