For example, I drove my niece to the airport this morning and as we sat at a stoplight, I noticed Winter Garden, my Florida hometown, is holding a fair. The kind with a Ferris wheel, cotton candy, and the bottle ring toss. In the area in front of the fair, where the cars eventually will park, was a field filled with cows. I’ve seen them there before, but what flashed through my mind was – there’s a novel in this scene. My niece’s observation was – are they going to leave the cows there during the fair? Who’s going to scoop up all the poop?
Even though we saw the same thing, my brain instantly wrote a book.
Another time, my husband, Mike, and I were heading home from the grocery store and in front of us was a very large man on an orange motorcycle. He wore an orange t-shirt, orange shorts and an orange bandana and on his feet were orange clogs. His helmet was orange with black trim and an orange backpack was strapped onto an orange saddlebag. Mike’s comment was – I like orange, but that’s too much. My thought was – a killer hiding in plain view. He will make it into a novel someday.
Many writers, including myself, have driven somewhere only to get there and realize it’s not where we wanted to go. That’s because part of the brain is thinking about a scene in a book, a character who isn’t doing what we want them to do, an upcoming deadline, what to post on social media, an author book club zoom, any number of tasks that need to be done. Sometimes, my head hurts by the end of the day and it’s not because I didn’t drink my caffeine. There’s only so much room up there, and between life and writing, the space that my brain occupies is completely full.
MWA, ITW, and Sisters in Crime and when not writing, can be found reading poolside or hosting family and friends fleeing the cold winters of the north.