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How do you come up with your ideas?

Dateline: mid-March 2017. Scene: a Desert Companion brainstorming meeting. Six people cluster around a table in a small, windowless conference room colloquially known as “Guantanamo.” Six very different personalities coming together to debate the ideas that will ultimately take shape as an issue of the magazine. Your challenge: Match the quotes to the staffers you, as a reader, have come to know. As we drop into the conversation, someone has just proposed a travel package for the May issue. ...

“Do I have to dress up for that?”

“Why are we here? What is meeting? What am journalism?”

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“So, I have this story idea about solar energy …”

“We did that story in our June 2011 issue.”

“In fact, while it’s true that bears are classified as carnivores, most are actually omnivores — and pandas are actually almost completely vegetarian …”

“I’ve lost interest in this conversation.”

“Your face lost interest in this conversation.”

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“So, how do we break this feature story? How do we [expletive] it up?”

“Oooh … and Scott can doodle it!”

“That’s just hurtful. Hurtful.”

(Random sports comment)

“They are still relevant! The Crusades had a profound impact on Western civilization! They reopened the Mediterranean to commerce and travel, they consolidated the collective identity of the Latin Church under papal leadership — and inspired the whole concept of heroism, chivalry and piety. And let’s not even get started about its dark legacy of brutality and oppression …”

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“We did that story in our February 2013 issue.”

(Something Canadian)

“I could do a blog on that.”

“Oooh. What you just said. Complete that thought. There’s something there. We’re onto something!”

“I have the perfect source for that story.”

“I have the perfect source for your face.”

“We did that story in our April 2014 issue.”

(Doodling in notebook)

“In the 2000s, Bollywood began influencing musicals in the West — and actually played a huge role in the revival of the American musical film genre. I mean, think about it …”

“Okay, let’s stop now.”

Another successful meeting! Brains have been stormed; ideas have been raised, tormented and dismissed; doodles have been doodled. Just like every month in the life of Desert Companion. And what, you ask, is the upshot? This: There will be a travel package in the May issue. Look for it next month!

Answer key: In order: Scott D., Andrew, Heidi, Andrew, Brent, Andrew, Scott L., Scott D., all six in unison, Andrew, Chris, Brent, Andrew, Chris, Heidi, Andrew, Heidi, Scott L., Andrew, both Scotts, Brent, all six in unison