From getting rear-ended to finding out that he doesn’t have cancer, the inspiration for Brian Bieber’s stories can come from the most unlikely of places. But rather than rely on the back of a receipt or the itinerant cocktail napkin, Brian plants the seeds of ideas onto something with a little more sticking power.
“If I’m at work and I think of a story idea, I don’t always have time to work on it right then. So I’ll jot it down on a Post-it® Note.”
When he’s not submitting his stories to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency or hosting his semi-regular podcast on his website Ghosts & Horses, he writes award-winning print, radio and web advertising at Fresh Produce, an advertising agency in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
“Some of the ideas I write down eventually become radio commercials, some are ideas for new stories, and others have yet to lead to anything meaningful. But you never know.”
It’s there on his desk in the extra bedroom he’s since converted into a writing studio where a lot of his Post-it® Note ideas are left to percolate. While many go by the wayside, a select few make it to his computer screen where he crafts his humorous essays, short stories, and an as-yet-unsold screenplay.
Sales for his new book Nickel Plated Gold, a collection of both new and previously published essays from McSweeney’s and other publications, are brisk. One of his stories, “My DJ,” he’s turned into a short film for the comedy website “Funny or Die.” The video stars himself going through what can only be described as a very bad day, made just a little better with the help of a personal deejay who follows him around, spinning appropriate tunes wherever he goes. The video has since been viewed more than 17,000 times. Not bad for an idea whose life began on a 3x3”, yellow Post-it® Note.