Saturday, 27 September 2014

A lifetime of ideas

Ever wondered where writers get their ideas? It's a simple answer - life. I'm blessed for an active imagination but my primary source still remains life: mine, family/friends and complete strangers that I read or hear about on a daily basis. Admittedly I cherry pick experiences, twist and view from various slants, add a humungous dollop of imagination and stretch my artistic licence as far as humanly possible but the fact remains, I'm inspired by life.

Last Sunday, I took my seventy year old mother up in a hot air balloon, she's always wanted the power to fly like a bird so I thought it a fitting treat to celebrate her big birthday. I'd already flown in a balloon as part of my fortieth celebration so knew what to expect. At 3000 feet, high in the sky over Staffordshire, suspended within a huge wicker basket amongst twelve strangers I witnessed life's reactions. I might never write about ballooning but I will need to write about the cheesy grin of happiness, the white knuckle grip of fear, the phobia panic of heights, the confidence shown by any expert - even the admiration of a daughter watching her mum enjoy herself - all these emotions/behaviours/remarks are captured within my memory bank for future works. It goes without saying that certain details need to be captured on paper to ensure I don't forget but my memory is like a huge slide show based on the events of my life.

In my forty odd years, and believe me some have been very odd, I have:

  • swum with dolphins... twice
  • been struck by lightening whilst sitting in a car
  • hot air ballooned... twice
  • been engaged, married and divorced in sequence order of three times, two and thankfully just once!
  • worked as a bank clerk, gym instructor, aerobics teacher, landlord, office girl and teacher.
  • holidayed worldwide - far too many places to mention, I'm pleased to say.
  • been chased by a group of baboons, stampeded by an angry elephant and held birds of prey.
  • owned cats, dogs, rabbits and numerous tortoises while husband kept bees, chickens and ducks.
  • attended numerous theatres, plays, concerts, church gatherings, promo events to fill anyone's diary.
  • taken numerous day trip with family, school and holidays that flood the mind with settings.

That's just a snippet of my life but each experience has given me a little something that I can draw upon when I need an idea, a setting, a face, an event or emotion. Add to this list my innate gene for nosiness, an incredible memory and my ability to hear a conversation three miles away... and you too would have all you need to write.

Still unsure where writer's get their ideas? Look inside for those memories, the ones you laughed, loved and cried about - there's a lifetime to muse about.

Me and my mum - 21.09.14  

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