A while back, in one of my first posts, I mentioned hearing a bird in the forest near our wilderness resort. A bird we could never locate and always wondered about. After the resort was sold and we’d moved closer to town and were preparing to build a house, we went to a home show looking for ideas.
As we entered, we heard that bird. We looked at each other and, moving as one person, almost ran to the booth that we believed had a bird in a cage. Perhaps they sold bird cages. Or had a garden theme. We didn’t know, we just knew we were about to finally… finally… find out what kind of bird made that sound.
It wasn’t a bird. It was a cougar. It was tame and in a cage where it couldn’t harm anyone. But the feeling I got upon realizing that a cougar had been nearby when I walked in the forest was something I’ll never forget.
I breathed a prayer of thanks to the two large dogs who always accompanied me when I took walks in the woods. I never asked them to come, they just did, ambling under the trees. And keeping me safe even when I didn’t know I needed protecting.
So now comes the point of this post. That experience… the emotion I felt when I learned I’d possibly been stalked by a cougar… became my novella Wanted: Sharpshooter.
As I wrote, the feelings just gushed out. Even though I’d not been afraid during all those years of walking in the forest, I knew what that kind of fear would have been like because of the sheer terror that went along my spine for a brief moment when i saw that tame cougar in the home show.
But Wanted: Sharpshooter isn’t my only book based on experience. I find that everything I write is based on something that has happened. And I also find that there is no limit to the experiences that fuel my imagination and in some manner become the stories I write.
So what inspires you? Where does the inspiration for your stories come from? Experience? Pure imagination? Something you read or hear about in the media? A dream that is so vivid you must get it written down?
Let me know. I’m curious.