I’ve written I feel the Muse is more of a partnership between energies and the writer, making a point to say I’m the one with the final stay.
Since I am the writer.
The commentary is far from complete and it’s only the perspective of one creative’s experience.
The truth is, the majority of my stories come from me – through a variety of sources, none of which were headlines and very few that are what if?
A few examples:
Road Trip. While driving to South Carolina from Michigan with family my senior year in high school, wanting to distance myself from cousins arguing over which fast food restaurant we should stop at, I focused on scenery. Later, exhausted from being in a car full of bickering people I spent the better part of the evening at the hotel in a sauna trying to de-stress.
The area around the swimming pool and sauna ended up becoming the foundation for the rehabilitation suite in The Lover. Various locations from that trip have found their way into a number of my novels, including the Outer Banks’ Island of Ocracoke.
Though I’ve never been there. The island we stayed at was basically wiped out in a hurricane years later.
We were seated at a table next to a photograph of all the ships from the Gold Rush Era that had been discovered buried beneath landfill used to accommodate a growing Barbary Coast population.
I had my very first book signing at the Old Ship Saloon.
I returned to the pub and spoke with a member of the staff who suggested I visit the Maritime Museum.
The rest is, as they say, history.
A Dream. A number of dreams have ended up as the foundation for stories, though one of the more vivid ones has been sidelined indefinitely.
In its current form it doesn’t fit my genre preference. I may yet find a way to incorporate it into one series or another.
A Walk. While making my way down the stairwell to walk along the Embarcadero in San Diego, an image flashed before me. The misty mountain in my mind’s eye was originally slated as a location for a story I had yet to finish but ended up finding its way – in a modified form – into Mirror, which is a Ghost Games tale, albeit a different one than the planned original.
Hey – it works.
Boredom. Numerous stories have come about because – bored out of my mind – my mind wandered.
The writers’ equivalent of doodling.
Only some of these have ended up as published works
Inspired By. I’m passionate about education. In spite of this, I resented being forced to take certain classes in high school. Specifically, American Lit.
I preferred Writ Lit and British Lit I and II.
I explained to my teacher the very valid reasons I had for not liking this subject.
They are personal.
He understood and we worked out a deal where I would read a couple of what he considered American Lit mandatories but otherwise could consult with him for projects.
One of his must-reads was Huckleberry Finn.
Not long after the class was given a writing assignment.
Right up my alley!
A huge Styx** fan I wrote a paper on censoring art not just in the written form but also music.
He subsequently asked me to write for the school paper – which was his “baby”and though I declined because I had a lot going on, his support helped propel me along the path of the dream to be a novelist as did my Writ Lit teacher who wrote “Waiting to read your first novel” in my yearbook. Teachers can and do leave an indelible mark on life.
**I loved the Kilroy Was Here Album, the story of the MMM, and later used it as a launch point for a novel.
It was 18 years after I wrote that paper and the novel in no way resembles the concept I found an intriguing what if?
These are just a few of the ways ideas for novels have bubbled to the surface.