I wrote a story once about a guy whose friend gets beat up and ends up in the hospital. The beat-up friend got smaller in each rewrite until finally he was tiny in the middle of the bed, skin yellow with bruises, hooked up to various monitors and life-support systems.
Then my first daughter was born three months premature. When I first visited her in the hospital, she was tiny, yellow with jaundice and hooked up to a respirator, monitors and had a feeding tube down her nose.
I wrote a story about a guy who was confused and ended up in the back seat of a taxi with a really old Japanese woman who leaned over onto his shoulder as the taxi went around a corner and he realized she had died. The story ended with him sitting there, riding and riding, her hair occaisionally tickling his face in the breeze.
The next day as I walked to the hospital to visit my daughter I passed an old lady who had died in the street. She just fell over. People stood around her looking, but not in a big hurry. A little blood came out her nose.
I was, at that time, working on a story about a guy who was estranged from his wife and whose daughter was dying of cancer. He wandered onto the set of a movie about Bigfoot.
I stopped writing fiction at that point. I only just started up again recently. I’m having a hell of a time getting going.