Spring, Spinning Plates, & Ideas

Yesterday, March 20, was the first day of spring 2021, and weather-wise, it looks like it’s going to be a nice one! Today is a beautiful, sunny day, and even though the temperature is a little cool, I may just spend some time on the back deck today and soak up some vitamin D while the husband works on a guitar and Cooper plays in the yard. Idyllic, no? I tend to think so.

With that being said, I really shouldn’t be playing outside, because there are so many plates spinning in my life right now that I almost don’t know which to keep going first.

Mark of the Maker is waiting on my attention. It will be my thesis novel for the SNHU MFA in Creative Writing that I’m working through. I have some of the narrative written, but not much. I have quite a bit of background (aka, the “novel bible”) written down, but it seems like every day something new comes along that I think will fit perfectly into the tale. Just last night I came across something that tickled my fancy, and I think I know exactly where I can work it into the story, and exactly how I can work it into the lore and the narrative. So, I suppose that means it’s a success rather than a distraction…

Lycian Rock Tombs – Atlas Obscura Image

Second, I had a lightening strike of inspiration earlier this week and I decided that rather than ignore what could be a really fantastic idea I’d go with it rather than have it hanging out in my brain. Leaving it there to take up real estate in my thoughts is an overall bad thing to do; if all I can think about is a story idea, then I’m not really able to concentrate on the novel or my studies. Therefore, I started a new horror short story that I’m tentatively calling “Spring Gobbler”. Now, keep your mind out of the gutter…the inspiration comes from spring hunting season, and ’round these parts, that means spring turkey hunting. Keep your eyes peeled, you’ll get it here first!

Lastly, I wanted to talk a little bit about inspiration and ideas, since it’s played a part in my writing activities this week. I talked a little bit about it above with the Lycian Rock Tombs, and then again when I talked about the lightening strike of inspiration, but I wanted to talk about it a little bit more, jumping into it’s depth a little bit more. Earlier this week I had an assignment in one of my classes where I was paired up with a classmate to give an interview; she had to interview me and I had to interview her. She asked me a question that led me to think about inspiration, and I gave her my standard answer when I’m asked.

She asked if the ideas for fantasy works come from the idea for the world, or the character idea. My answer to her was that my ideas generally come from a “what if” question. I’ll see something (maybe a picture or a segment on tv or maybe even hear a song lyric) and as I think about it, it’ll evolve into a “what if” question that I need to provide an answer for.

Let’s use my short story “Enough” as an example. The general plot of the narrative is Snow White after the “happily ever after”. Now, the “what if” in this case was, “what if the ‘happily ever after’ wasn’t so happy?” The rest of the story came from that thought, that “what if”, and it leads the story to some fairly dark places (it is horror, after all…).

The possibilities for “what if” stories are endless, and only stop when your own imagination does. Go down the “what if” rabbit hole and you’re guaranteed to eventually end up with some pretty amazing situations, and hopefully some pretty amazing stories!

Thanks for joining me this week!

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