Hello Readers! I’ve been busy throughout the summer, focusing on my day job of wedding styling. You’d think immersing myself in such a creative job would fill me with inspiration for writing a new book. How? By meeting new people every day, seeing people at their best and worst, not to mention romantic settings. Yet writing about a wedding planner this time around wasn’t in my mind. It would soon turn out that not much else would be either!
During a few moments of downtime, I found myself staring at the wall, literally. With a vivid imagination and observational skills always turning at top speed, this empty desert of imagination befuddled me entirely. Who would the heroine be? What would the central plot be? The setting and title? The emptiness felt like eyeing a level expanse of sand on the horizon. Or maybe driving through the prairies. Flat landscape, empty brain, bare screen.
As life does, it delivered a corner (more like a hairpin curve) and inspiration landed in my lap like a wayward vulture spotting dinner. I’d soon learn (again) that life isn’t always as pretty as a postcard. This summer, my job required outdoor labour, all day, every day, under immensely smoky skies which rained ash onto everyone and everything. Working near pine covered hills spitting shards of fire onto golf courses and wineries, I remained observant and guzzled water much as an animal dying of thirst in the desert would. Yet the particles of ash filtered into my airway and settled in my lungs. Coughing fits ensued for weeks. I shrugged it off. Until I couldn’t breathe. The pressure tightened around my ribcage and sharp pains banging inside my lungs brought me to my knees.
How did this scenario provide me with inspiration? In the most unexpected way! (No, I wasn’t rescued by a hunky fireman but the doctor was pretty damn cute).
After finally dragging myself to the hospital (to learn I had bronchitis complicated by asthma), I spent a few hours getting friendly with an inhaler, and x-rays while waiting for doctors and . . . observing. A while back, I posted a blog about finding inspiration in public or unexpected places (cemetery, shopping mall, etc.) and here I found myself surrounded by people from all walks of life with lots of stories to tell in a very public setting. And I listened. Intently. And I shared stories in return. During these conversations, three separate women landed in the ER with stories so bizarre and tragic my own condition seemed irrelevant. And there came the inspiration. I’d found what I’d been searching for. Strong heroines with thrilling (if dangerous) lives. I’m still toying with titles and constructing an overall plot but the details for my next book will come. The foundation is there!
It seems that when we are focused and want something fiercely, it doesn’t always happen. And you surely know the old saying ‘when you least expect it, you’ll find what you’ve been looking for all along’.
To those of you concerned about your next book (what it’ll be about, and who it’ll be about), fear not. Just keep living and life will present you with all the inspiration you need.