Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Most Asked Question

“Where do you get your ideas?”

Oh, how I wish I knew.

See if I knew, I could actually manage and manipulate my ideas. Not to mention control the plot bunnies that tend to run away with my works in progress.

I also wish I had a good answer. That I could say my ideas from the hollowed-out ancient oak tree in the middle of the woods where I grew up. Or maybe on the pads of feet of little gray kittens with eyes of two different colors. Perhaps from behind the trap door in the basement of my grandma’s old cottage on the Wisconsin River.

They don’t.

Most of them arrive scattered and half-formed. Typically in the form of a voice of an insistent main character with a story to tell. There is a sentence, or a half-formed paragraph, a misty plot with a vague ending.
I am the story teller.

It is my task to take the roughly-formed idea and actually turn it into something.

My ideas tend to range from the darker sides of growing up with a sassy young girl coming of age to lighter mysteries of stubborn cats with a gleam in their eyes and a passion for crime reporting. I’ve started a variety of manuscripts that had a lot to tell me to begin with, but aren’t quite ready to provide the ending. Sometimes it takes me years to finish these – the stories comes as they are ready to be told.

I’ve never been able to force my writing.

Which isn’t to say I don’t write on a regular basis or wait around for the perfect idea. There are days I don’t want to write, but do, and I feel better for it. There’s always something better that comes from writing versus not at all.

So where do my ideas come from?

Me. Simply stated, they are my dreams and my passions, my experiences, and those I’ve yet to encounter. They are who I was, and who I am, and who I will be. They are the people and pets I have met, those I want to meet, and those I hope I have yet to meet.

They are the volumes of stories I’ve always wanted to share. 

Happy reading!


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