Posted in Writing Life

The Odd Place My Stories Come From

I swear that a fairy godmother visits me at night, waves a magic wand over my head, and puts story ideas into my head. It’s really the only explanation that I can come up with to explain those story ideas that seem to pop up out of nowhere. There’s probably a perfectly rational reason having to do with my brain concocting stories based on things I’ve seen or experienced in the background until they emerge, partially formed, seemingly by magic. But I like to believe the story fair godmother theory.

Wanted: Story Fairy Godmother
Wanted: Story Fairy Godmother $500 Reward Offered for Information Leading to Her Capture

However there are other stories that I know exactly where they come from, often down to the exact night. Because more and more of my stories can trace their inspiration back to dreams.

And I certainly have some weird dreams.

I once had a dream set in a bar that had an arcade in the basement and was run by vampires who came after me. Then there was another one where I was chased around by Disney characters.

Look at that face. Terrifying.
Look at that face. Terrifying.

I think of my dreams as story seeds. I have to get dirt under my fingernails when I plant them, manage to soak the entire front of my pants while watering them, and using shears to prune and shape them into the stories I want them to become. It’s a lot of work to put in without knowing if the end product will amount to anything. I might mess up along the way. Or maybe rabbits or grubs make a snack of it (computer crashes, accidentally deleting the file, etc).

The chance is still there for one to blossom into a novel that’ll catch an agent’s eye. That’s why I put the effort into them and keep a notepad next to my bed to write down any dream I can remember when I wake up.

Do you have any odd places or things that inspire your stories? Or have you caught the story fairy godmother and are keeping her as your personal muse? (If so, please let her go. I miss her.)

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