Ah, the cherry blossoms, complete with bee! Here in Decatur, Alabama the cherry trees are in bloom, hence the above picture. I did not see the bee until I had posted the picture. I literally just took the picture. The cherry tree is one of several in our front yard. Okay, enough of that.
There have been a number of posts lately on the topic: from whence do ideas come? I thought I would devote a blog to that question. I’ve made that decision based on recent events here in “Our Town” Decatur. I’m afraid it’s not a pretty picture, but it is an incredible source for story ideas.
Yesterday it was reported in the local paper that several public school teachers have been charged with having a sexual relationship with students. Two male teachers were named and one female teacher.
The teachers haven’t been formally charged, but pending court hearing and all that, they have been put on official leave. An interesting side note. Professionals were on the school campuses all day Monday to assist with trauma victims. Not one student nor faculty member spoke with them. The principal actually stated that everyone at the school was in a rather upbeat mood.
Hmmm, now if you can’t imagine a story out of THAT, then, well, I don’t know.
Now, I have absolutely no doubt that a YA, or literary, or fantasy, or suspense novel exists out there somewhere on this very topic. So what? Write another one. This is a veritable mother lode of possibilities. Here’s one possibility. The teacher is recovering from an emotional break-up/divorce. The said teacher opens up, as it were, to a favorite student, a student who is a good listener. A student who is seventeen, and the teacher is twenty-two…not a hell of an age difference. They make a bad decision. They are both wonderful people–everyone else is rotten.
My point here is that LIFE presents us with story ideas every day. Twenty writers could sit down and write a story based on the above, and each story would be different. One story portrays the vile mind of an adult predator. The next reflects the thin line between love and that simple, human need: compassion. Another examines the possibility of evil that can dwell in the heart of a seventeen year old human. And yet another reports in chilling fashion the results of bad decisions.
We as writers know it’s not enough to say…”Well, they shouldn’t have done it.” Of course, they shouldn’t have done it. Give me a break. I shouldn’t have had that seventh cup of sake either, but…what the hell. We make mistakes and, poor humans, sometimes those mistakes are life-time errors.
Where do stories come from? Like that bee in the picture. I had no idea until I looked at the pic on my computer screen. Where did the bee come from? I have no idea, but there he is.
I love it.