Sunday, July 19, 2015

Stories at Your Fingertips

The quiet water below belies the mountain's secrets!

Right in your own backyard
Most authors would agree that story ideas are to be found anywhere and everywhere, but sometimes we’re lured into thinking those anywheres and everywheres should be far away places with the strange sounding names. Not.
Words Which Wander Back and Start You Wondering
Some fine day plunk yourself down--in a comfy chair, in the park, at a fast-food drive-in--and let your mind wander back over bits and pieces of stories picked up from conversations at family gatherings. Maybe you weren’t listening. Maybe you weren’t supposed to be listening. But rattle the cages of your memory, and something will come to mnd.

  • How about ‘X’ who was GTT (Gone To Texas) and never heard from again?

  • Or the great-grandfather who shot his step-father, ran off, was caught up with and told, Come on back.The man needed killing. 

  • What did the beautiful great-aunt, dead of diphtheria at 19, leave behind?
Only19 years. . .what might have been?

  • The grandmother who taught in a one-room school house in the Panhandle of Texas

  • The second cousin whose mother never saw him again after the age of 4 or 5--why?

  • The great-grandfather who went back to Alabama to fetch his bride and ended up bringing back her whole family

  • The great-uncle who, wounded, listened to two Union soldiers say, Don’t waste a bullet on the Reb--he’s dying anyway. (Rescued and nursed back to health, he lived to father 14 children!)

  • The grandfather who at age eight lay on the floor between his two grandmothers and listened to them discuss who would take him to raise now that his parents were dead

  • The grandmother whose first love contracted tuberculosis and left for the drier climate of the Southwest--and died there without ever returning to her
Her heart with with him. . .
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Granted, I’m older and had grandparents born before the 20th century and whose tongues didn’t have to be pried loose. But you’ve heard stories, too.

I've written several stories based on old family stories. My great-grandfather did in deed kill his stepfather and never faced prosecution! The exact reason will never be known, but I spun a novel Four Summer Days out of the three separate stories I heard. (Watch for release information coming soon!)

WEDNESDAY:  At Your Fingertips: Places to look for information as you spin the story from your own backyard.

1 comment:

Donna Alice said...

Sitting on deck in the Smokies with some ideas simmering in my brain.