The Twisted Mind of a Writer: Finding Inspiration In Strange Places


Barn along Ohio 145

Photo by gb_packards

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I want to thank all of my guest posters who kept the blog going while I was road tripping back and forth to Branson, MO. We had a great vacation and actually survived our first big road trip with the kidlet. All I have to say is I'd like to thank the makers of portable DVD players and the VTech MobiGo handheld game. Anything that can keep a three year old occupied for the better part of six hours in a carseat is a Christmas miracle.


And though we usually fly to vacations, I have to say I really enjoyed road-tripping it this time. We went through Arkansas on the way to Missouri, then through Oklahoma on the way back. There was some beautiful country and mountains to drive through. Really gorgeous route. (And I tweeted this yesterday, but I had no idea Oklahoma had mountains. We drove into Oklahoma and I expected flat plains and boom, we're in the Oauchita mountains. Who knew?)

But in addition to the pretty scenery, we also passed through countless small rural towns. Some that looked like abandoned ghost towns, some that made me think the Jeepers Creepers truck was going to start tailing us anytime, and others that had my mind whirling with story ideas.

I'd see a broken down barn and wonder what hid inside. I'd see the town's one school (all grades in one building) and wonder what it'd be like to grow up in a place where there wasn't even a high school. And I definitely saw countless places that would make it easy to hide a body or hole up and hide from the world, lol. I even saw a "runaway truck" ramp in the mountains, which is apparently a place for 18-wheelers to go if they are going down a steep mountain and their brakes stop working.

Each of these things got my brain working as I started weaving stories that could utilize all these different things. So, of course, I asked my husband if that happens to him when he looks at all this stuff, like is he wondering if that guy with the long beard fixing a fence is really a serial killer who escaped detection and now spends his time doing cash jobs in the mountains.

After giving me the oh-my-strange-little-writer-wife smile, he said that no, he just wonders how people can live so far from simple things like a grocery store. He also noticed that they all had satellite dishes because, well, he's a guy and wondering how TV gets to these places is of interest.

But the whole conversation just reminded me again that writers are just different kind of people--we're a, lol. And thank God for it because that gives us our creativity. But it also explains why we're always so happy to find others like us to talk to and network with. It's nice to know we're not alone in our strangeness. : )

So is this how you view the world as well? What strange places have you gotten inspiration from?

**Today's Theme Song**
"People Are Strange" - The Doors
(player in sidebar, take a listen)