Waving hello from Florida to Delilah and all who stop by. Glad to be here today.
In the top five questions authors are asked is: “Where do you get your stories?”
For a while when asked this, I quickly said, “the Amazon story store.” I mean, Amazon sells live lady bugs and rents goats, why not sell stories? But alas, I had to stop because too many asked me for the link.
Here’s the real skinny.
Writers are blessed/cursed with wild, vivid imaginations capable of great things. I firmly believe imagination is everything to a writer. Imagining is our super power. It’s a way to preview life’s coming attractions. It’s the ability to change the past in our mind’s eye.
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” I’m not going to argue with Al.
Back to the, where do you get stories question. The correct answer is: writers get stories everyplace. Through our senses, into our minds, we ingest the world around us then reshape it all into new images in our imagination.
Recently my imagination was triggered by The Bureau of Land Management seeking volunteers to spend the summer in the middle of nowhere Montana in an abandoned haunted town. Not happening for me, but my mind took me to an abundance of romance possibilities and spooky stuff.
Then there’s the abandoned and boarded up Baker Hotel in Mineral Springs, TX. A big ole empty hotel just sitting there. I imagined a story about a group of mystery writers spending the weekend there and the last sentence of the book, “How would you rate your stay at the Baker Hotel?”
And songs. For me, songs are writing prompts. Take Ray Stevens’ DEAD SKUNK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. I immediately thought of a squished ex sprawled across the double yellow line. A hot detective convinced the ex-wife killed the skunk.
Who but an author can admire an ancient oak and imagine couples from every time period falling in love under the spreading branches? Then wonder how many bodies the roots are embracing.
I believe authors are a special breed. Every day we fade into the alternate world of books. Those written by others and the ones we’re writing. We extend our arms, put our fingers to the keyboard and imagination flows, letter by letter, across the screen. We can imagine anything and happily share what we conjure up with the world.
I use my imagination to write the Under Fire series about extraordinary women and the men they love. Military heroines. A Coast Guard helicopter pilot. A Coast Guard admiral. A Marine Corps Intelligence officer. A Federal agent who works closely with Special Ops men. Women at the top of their field in a man’s world. They don’t want a man to take care of them. They want a man who will accept them for who they are and stand shoulder to shoulder with them in their adventures.
Last year my imagination got the best of me and I published Let Me Tell You a Story, a collection of eight twisted and tattered tales from the odd side that will give you giggles and shivers, tears and sighs. It felt amazing to finally free these characters from my mind and put them on the page.
Let Me Tell You a Story
Table of Contents
TEA AND SHISH KABOB
A man recounts a mysterious story of growing up on the Florida coast after WW II.
A couple embark on a different life style journey.
An ultimate Deja vu tale.
A dying woman’s legacy of love and loyalty.
Three children alone on an island enveloped in fog.
LITTLE BOBBY WILLIS
A billionaire cuts his spoiled son off from technology.
A woman finds her father after 20 years of searching.
MAYHEM AND HANKY-PANKY AT DEBBIE’S
A totally tongue in cheek behind the scenes look at a salon.
BTW, I now answer the question, “Where do ideas come from?,” with a huge smile and say, “I imagine every single one of them.”
Where has your imagination taken you today? Or, where has an author’s imagination taken you today?