Sometimes people ask us authors where we get our ideas. The answer is anywhere and everywhere. A newspaper account of a young boy searching for his mother inspired our very own Paul Levine to write Illegal. We may have family members who served in WWI, which stirred Jacqueline Winspear to pen the Maisie Dobbs series. Some authors write about personal experiences as did James O. Born in his modern day and futuristic law enforcement novels, the latest being The Human Disguise. In his spare time, I hope Ridley Pearson writes a book based on his experiences teaching writing in China.
When you’re working on a novel, the ideas have time to percolate and mature, but when you’re blogging once a week, there’s often very little time for even thinking. Sometime my head is full of ideas and sometimes it feels rather empty…like today when I’m supposed to post tomorrow morning and have not a single idea rolling around in my head.
I can’t speak for other bloggers, but coming up with a topic once a week is challenging. Sometimes I read a tidbit in the newspaper that I think will make for an interesting piece, like the woman and her screaming 2-year-old child who were thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight (Don’t worry. The airplane hadn’t taken off yet.) Afterward, mom Pamela Root threw a hissy fit and demand that the airline apologize and give her some hush money, which they did. If the unrelenting screams of your child are so loud that other passengers can’t hear the safely video, as happened in this case, I’m not sure who owes whom an apology. Most of us have been on an airplane with a screamer. It’s torture. After I read about the incident, I thought about asking you Naked Readers for your opinion, but never did.
Often I write about something I’ve done over the weekend but it was a lazy few days with the holidays and all, and I doubt anyone wants to read about my trip to the grocery store or my foray into the backyard to sweep leaves, even though I find herding leaves meditative. It’s a time away from computers and telephones, a time to think and breathe outside air. If it’s so meditative, you’d think it would help me come up with a blog topic but nope.
I thought I might complain about the voice recorder I got for Christmas that was supposed to be idiot proof but resists my every attempt to set the time even though I follow the instructions. Why do I even need digitally recorded time? I’m perfectly willing to say: “It’s January 1, 2010 at 11: 25 a.m. and I’m walking along Westwood Boulevard thinking about what Davie wants in this scene.” Why can’t gadgets be simple anymore? Why can’t voice recorders just record sound? Now I have to establish folders and all sorts of other fancy crap that I don’t want or need. All I want to do is record, erase, record. I decided not to talk about this topic because I sounded ungrateful and whiny.
Tell me if this floats your boat—stupid street signs. I even snapped a photo to illustrate my point. Can anybody figure out when you are allowed to park on this street? There’s another trend I see creeping into my neighborhood. Speed bumps are now called humps. What’s the difference between a speed bump and a speed hump anyway? Life is complicated enough. Let’s decide if it’s a bump or a hump and stick with the program.
Oh boy! Will somebody please save me from this mental fog and tell me what to write about?
Happy New Year!