As I was sitting in bed this morning, laptop in front of me, coffee and a slice of pie beside me, I started thinking. Last week, I saw a buddy of mine that I hadn’t seen in ages. I made a passing comment. “You have to live life to write about it.” This isn’t anything earth shattering. It’s not even my quote, but I don’t know whom to credit, as it’s more like a cliché. Of course that doesn’t make it any less true. Now the point could be argued that there are many famous authors that wrote beautiful and wonderful things and never left their own homes, but I think of these writers as anomalies.
So what does this statement mean to me? I’m not saying I go around taking unnecessary risks with my life, but I’m not sitting around at home either, hoping for inspiration. I’m out in the world everyday. I interact with people everyday. I like to try new things. I like to go places. I LOVE to take pictures of the things that I see. I’m living life, and those conversations and experiences have a way of creeping into my stories.
I never know what will inspire me. Sometimes it will be something stupid, like getting lost on a car ride with some friends. Sometimes it will be something more meaningful, like dealing with the death of a parent. But I always need to find a grain of truth, and build my scenes around it.
In the story I’m finishing up now, one of my characters is trying to get her life back together after losing her father to cancer. My own father is very much alive, but I did lose my mother years ago. She didn’t die of cancer, but cancer has touched the lives of a number of people that I care about. It’s these threads of truth that I hope to weave into my story. It’s what I know about, and even though my stories are tainted with vampires and perhaps a few other mythical creatures, I like to use reality as the glue to hold everything together.