Vonna from my SCBWI group has been after me to get some news up on my website. So here is a new blog post to fill the gap between my last bylined article and news about BURNED, my upcoming Middle Grade book about a young equestrian who solves a mystery and saves her mother.
But until I have FIRM news, a blog post awaits my fingers.
Most Patient Husband turned to me one evening this week during a particularly interesting television show that had more plot twists than the Longleat Hedge Maze (In Wiltshire, England. Go, get lost, it’s great!) and said, “You do this. How do you come up with those crazy twists in your work?”
I recognized the question as a variant on one of a writer’s most frequently heard questions: Where do you get your ideas?
I used to answer, “Woolworth’s.” I stopped when the average person asking the question no longer knew what a Woolworth’s was. (So sad to remember things that others never experienced. The soda fountain counter. The candy racks. The rack of 75 cent paperbacks by the cash register. As usual, I digress.)
I tried to answer, but wound up just happily soaking up his admiration because it came at such a great time for me. The answer is complicated and admiration thin on the ground just now, so it seemed best.
Then I ran across a photograph I took at the Austin Cathedral of Junk and I realized. That’s my brain! I construct ideas out of bits and pieces of life that other people toss off and leave behind. The woman in the coffeeshop who exclaimed, “There’s Italians in my blood!” The alleyway I walked along going to school as a child. The broken doll a toddler wouldn’t let go of in the grocery store. All of those converge in my imagination and create a story.
Writers are good at making connections. Connect the Italian family with a broken doll under the arm of a petite princess and send her down a dark alley and you’ve got an interesting story waiting to happen. Give it a whirl. It’s kind of fun.
Just to let everyone know that SOON, there will be news of a happy variety. Patience is a virtue.