My inspiration for stories…
They come from everywhere. Bits of conversations overheard in the grocery store sometimes spawn complicated love triangles, and don’t even get me started on the secret life of the cutie check out guy. Although I’m sure my imagination is nothing like his real life … poor guy.
Today I awoke to snow on the ground and grabbed my camera and headed to the wooded area at the end of our neighborhood to take pictures of the trees, creek, and snow with every intention of making it into a book cover some day.
Here’s how the walk went…
There is a hidden waterfall I’ve never seen because I rarely walk back this far. It’s beautiful, with the rust covered leaves of autumn and sound of the water rushing, I feel as if I’ve stepped into a hidden forest.
The snow covers the leaves, and underneath the ground is soft clay, a remnant of the flood two months ago. I imagine a man walking; spotting something vibrant green in the snow and realizing it’s a toy takes it to the neighbor’s yard, whom he’s never met. Cue cupid, cue adorable love story – oh-oh-oh – she’s not the nanny, she’s actually married to a horrible man and the kind toy-saver helps her break out of her abusive marriage and take her child and gives her a new identity, and… and…
Holy hell!!! Look at the erosion going on over there! I love how the tree root dangles, the cold water rushing over the flat stone. Hmm, in summer time I imagine looking for lizards or bathing on the flat rock, but right now, all I can imagine is the dead body, caught on the rocks, her long black hair floating over her face and her bright red jacket is stained with brown. The attractive police detective questioning the neighbors, one is nervous but swears she’s never seen the woman before. Ohh, I could work with this story line.
That root hanging down is really crazy looking. Perhaps in the summer ancient rites are performed under the root of knowledge… Or maybe a gang of kids try to shoot it off with a bb gun, one gets injured and a nearby neighbor comes to his rescue. She calls his dad… Hmm, it has potential but I still like the dead body better.
This would be a pretty book cover, the meandering creek in the dead of winter bringing life to the critters downstream. Perhaps she’s a wildlife photographer that gets snowed in and the ranger is furious that he has to go out and find her. Meh… Not loving it. I’m getting cold and want to return home.
Black bark with white snow, the trees are sentries, keeping me on the low ground by the creek. I attempt to walk back up the hill, but now the soft clay is shifting under my feet and I slide. Suddenly the story of the photographer becomes a missing person, search and rescue sent to find her. She’s broken her ankle and made a crude shelter, drinking creek water to survive.
My foot slides further, my body weight shifting and I’m unstable. My hands scramble for purchase and find only frozen leaves and broken branches. Ohmigod, I’m going to slide into the creek. This isn’t funny. Do you know how many pictures of man candy are stored on my laptop? What will my kids think? My obituary will read middle-aged housewife, died of hypothermia after slamming her head against a rock and freezing to death in a creek. Next time I’m bringing rope and a friend!
Finally, my foot finds purchase against a tree and I wrap my hands around it, my face plastered against the rough textured bark and I don’t care. I’ll tell the kids their father and I had kinky sex on the carpet to explain the facial abrasions.
At home, I wash clay, leaves, and pebbles from my shoes, change my clothes and imagine an interview with Jimmy Fallon, who congratulates me on being a NY Times Best Seller and RITA award winner and when he asks me, “Where do you get your inspiration?” I giggle and shrug coyly.
By the way, that whole experience took about thirty minutes. I have too many stories, not enough time to write!