Well, I can now say I've shared in the Universal Writer's Experience. Two of them, in fact, although related.
The husband and I are on a cruise right now (two weeks -- we'll be in Aruba tomorrow morning, going through the Canal on the 27th [with hopefully less excitement than our first time] and back home on the 5th) and at our table the first night the group did the usual, "So, what do you do?" conversation. I said I was a writer.
Now mind you, this is the first time I've been in a general, mundane sort of social situation with a bunch of people I don't know since I was first published a bit over a year ago. Jim and I don't socialize much, and when we do it's usually with people we know (duh) so people knew I'd been writing and it was more an "I got published!!" sort of conversation. We haven't been on a cruise in a while, though, so this was my first time telling a small gathering of strangers that I write.
Sure enough, one of the men said, "I always had the perfect idea for writing a book," and he told me all about it. (In case you're dying of curiosity as to what The Perfect Idea is, he said I should go sit out on deck, or in a bar or restaurant or any public place, and listen to the partial conversations going on around me and write stories about them. I expect a dollar from anyone who uses this; e-mail me for my PayPal info. [cough])
And another man said, "I should write a book. I have a great imagination. Some day when I have the time, I'll write a book." Umm, yeah. You do that. Let me know how it goes. (I managed not to say that last bit out loud, since I do have a certain basic set of social skills.)
So anyway, yeah, a couple more things to check off on my list. I'm waiting with bated breath for someone to sidle up to me (maybe one of the wives?) and offer to tell me the perfect story idea she has, and suggest that I could write the novel and the two of us could split the money. I'll let you know when that happens. :)
PS -- internet is forty cents per minute here, and that's their cheap plan, so my apologies. I'll be slow responding to comments, and won't be reading anyone else's blog for the next couple of weeks. :/