Where Do Stories Come From?
I have heard that authors write what they know. I find myself doing that, both with fiction and non-fiction. It’s comfortable and familiar to build on experience as well as professional training. To me it seems, too, that a writer can’t hide for very long the totality of who they are. If they write extensively, and from that deep part inside of themselves some call the soul, many readers will come to know and understand them, even in a way their family or friends may not.
Where do those crazy, creative ideas in our heads come from? Some may say it’s the collective unconscious. Did you ever hear the phrase, “There are no new ideas?” Everything that has ever been experienced or thought about is out there, if only we can just tune into it. For me, that includes reincarnation; I believe that it’s a past lifetime I’m writing about when I’m emotionally involved in the story such as with my short story, “That’s Just the Way It Is.” It seems further confirmation that it’s one of my own lifetimes when I recognize people I presently know wearing unfamiliar clothing in a past time period.
“That’s Just the Way It Is” is free today on Amazon.com through October 25th. It takes place in Texas in the 1870’s. The personal connection to me is discussed in the “Afterword.” Here’s an excerpt from one of the action scenes between Rebecca and John:
“What the devil’s wrong with you? Carryin’ on with a scalawag like that? Good thing I came in when I did. In a couple more minutes he’d of had you bare-assed on the table.”
“For heaven’s sake, John. What’s the matter? Calm down. The children will hear you, and I’m sure Jake already did.”
“I’m not the problem. And don’t you ever go against what I say in front of the cowboys, or anybody for that matter.” John was getting red in the face and his lips were starting to protrude. I thought for a moment he was going to spit on me. I stood up, and he suddenly raised his arm and slapped my face with the back of his hand, followed by a harder slap on my other cheek with the front of his hand.
“I won’t have you carryin’ on with him. I’m firin’ him tomorrow,” he shouted.
“John,” I cried. ”Please come to your senses. There’s absolutely nothing going on between me and Mr. Johnson. Stop being so unreasonable. Don’t you dare fire him. That man has children depending on him.”
Emily and the boys had run into the kitchen by now. They stared in silence, four pairs of eyes wide open with fear. Emily hurried over and put her arms around my waist.
“Get away from her, Em. I’m not through yet,” he said angrily while he took off his belt.
I nodded to Emily and she stepped back. “Take your brothers into the parlor,” I told her.
John grabbed me by the arm. I struggled when he began hitting me with the buckle end, leaving deep gashes in the skin on my neck and arms. I tried to cover my face, and my hands became streaked with blood. After I started screaming, Emily came running and tried to pull his arm back. John accidently knocked her down.
“Stop it! Let me go! I’m pregnant,” I shouted angrily.
So, where do your stories or ideas come from?