Where Do You Get Your Ideas (con’t)

Hi Fellow Readers and Writers–

The question of where I get my ideas comes up a lot, so I thought I’d write another blog about it.  Maybe it will spur something in you.  I hope so.

Seven years ago a friend and I visited our little community cemetery.  It’s quite a unique place, with gravesites surrounded by little fences, flowers planted, and mementos scattered about.  But the one thing that stayed in my mind was the grave of a young boy who’d passed away many years earlier, at the tender age of eight or nine.  Friends and family members had lovingly placed some of his favorite toys around the headstone.

Like a grain of sand in an oyster, this little boy’s grave stayed in my mind.  Years went by, and the picture noodled around in my brain.  I knew I’d use that grave in a story one day, but it wasn’t time yet.  And like that grain of sand, building layers upon layers, until it developed into a pearl within an oyster, that memory gathered things around it, until the “pearl” of a story came to life in my brain.  I’m finally writing about a young boy who died under somewhat mysterious circumstances, in my new book, Hooked on a Cold Case

Your life is a series of memories that never fully leave you alone.  Pick a topic, any topic, and you’ll probably have a memory that fits into it.  A magazine editor once said, you can write about anything–well, not anything–you wouldn’t write a story about a pen.  But I did.  It was a memory from when I was entering junior high.  My brother and I went to our local stationery store, and he told me what I’d need.  (He was older, and much wiser–but don’t tell him I ever admitted that.  LOL!)  The thing that caught my eye was a Schaffer pen in the glass case by the counter.  It was one of those cartridge-ink fountain pens.  The pen was turquoise, with gold filigree around it, and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life.  There’s more to the story, but suffice it to say, you can write about anything–even a pen.

So search your memory for something that moved you in some way.  Write about it.  Dig deep, don’t just scratch the surface.  Get down into your emotions.  There’s a reason that memory won’t leave you alone.  And like the little boy’s grave, it may one day form a pearl of a story.  Keep writing, journaling, scribbling down the “stuff” that has made up your life.  Pretty soon you’ll get good at remembering.  Ray Bradbury said it takes 100,000 words before you “get it.”  Keep practicing.  Writing is a joy like no other.  It helps you make sense of things in your past.

Happy Reading and Writing to you All,



Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>