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Where do you get your ideas?

Writers get asked this question all the time. But I don't think anyone's ever asked me. Oh, well. On the off chance you're interested, I'm going to tell you.

But first, a story.

This is a satellite photo of the section of Interstate 45 where my 17-year-old son had his first wreck last weekend as he was returning from a friend's lake house. He was about 50 minutes from home. He'd just come over the flyover and the roads were wet and slick. His back tires lost traction and his car went into a spin. Two 360's and then the car slid over a rather steep embankment. (The cop told me they were lucky they didn't have a rollover). He's okay, and so is his friend traveling with him. The only damage was to his tires and my sanity.

That's where my ideas come from.

Every heart-stopping moment I've ever experience, every time I've laughed until my sides ached, every time I've gotten so angry I thought my head would explode, every time I've been so annoyed I wanted to scratch someone's eyes out, every time I've cried. I use what I know to flesh out the lives of my characters.

The fun part of that is that I also preserve the memory in perpetuity. 

Did I mention that two nights before the accident, my son drove up to the lake house after dark, depending on his GPS to get him there. I got a call about 10:20 that night. My son was cursing that GPS like nobody's business. The f***ing GPS had led him to the f***ing middle of f***ing nowhere. There were no people, no lights, no cars, no street signs. He was hopelessly lost an hour from home and I had to way to help him except to try and calm him down. I swear I heard banjos.

He eventually got to the lake house, and I lost half my hair.

Do you think that's going in a book? You bet it is.


Reader Comments (1)

Hi there - Google threw you up this morning, if you'll forgive the phrase.

Liked this post very mch - glad your son's okay...

I've just started a blog called 'Where do you get your ideas?' and I'd like to reblog this post, then add it to a section of Author Advice pages so that it'll always be easily findable (ie you'll have your own page). And a link, of course.

At the moment it's a baby blog, and I'm yet to do any PR for it as I want plenty of good reading up there first. With that in mind, would you be happy for the reblog?


July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbbs Pepper

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