So what’s on Pamela’s mind today?
Well, I am glad you asked.
Today I’m thinking about what it takes to be create an imaginary world on paper. I mean, is it odd that I’m always thinking about people and situations that exist only in my mind? That sounds like something most people would find…odd. After all, having conversations with figments of imagination often lands a person in a room with padded walls, right?
Does that mean you’re crazy?
No! It means you’re a writer! ***Cue cheers here. ***
Whenever I mention to people I write books, someone invariably asks the question: What inspires your stories?
If you’re a scribe, you’re inspired by everything and everyone around you. Members of your family, people you work with, even the general population of the community you live in is a source seething with plots, characters, and so much more. I have to admit, I steal shamelessly from all sources. Aside from those obvious sources of material to fill my books, I also have a secret source…
Those familiar with my background are aware I ride motorcycles. I’ve ridden off and on since I was 12 years old. (I’m old now, but we won’t go there.) The empty farm roads criss-crossing Texas and New Mexico are a huge attraction. Why? Specifically because of the abandoned properties I encounter when riding. There are hundreds, some easily found, others out in the middle of nowhere where there should be no human habitation to begin with. The High Plains are wide open desert-like land and I can’t image living in some of these ghost-like places. More amazing is finding an abandoned town and old cemeteries. I love them! They are definitely the highlight of my rides and I love it when i find a new road to explore. I’ve even gotten lost and had a few hairy scrapes with gas running low and nothing in sight but scrub brush and mesquite trees.
One of my favorite things to do is to stop and explore these old properties. My camera phone is not the best, but these are a few of the abandoned buildings and vehicles that intrigue me. Why have they been left like that? I love to walk around them and imagine the people who lived there and what might have driven them away. Sometimes I find a few clues left behind as to who the owners were. Sometimes, not. Nevertheless, it is fun to create lives for people I never met and will never know. In doing this, I often come up with a fresh plot for a new book!
I love this! My husband and I used to do that on rides up in the California gold country. We’d hike old trails and explore mines from the mid-1800s gold rush era. Most of our “dates” were rides up to the Sierras in his neat little MGB. In fact, my “romantic proposal of marriage” came one afternoon when we were talking about buying property up in the Sierra Nevada Mother Lode–that section of foothills where so much gold was taken out of the ground and panned out of creeks. He said, “Well, if we’re gonna buy property, we should probably get married.” I said, “Okay,” and a couple of months later we were married. Just last fall we finally bought property in gold country. I reminded him when we were signing papers at the title office that it took him 47 frickin’ years to get me up here, but we’re here and loving it. We’ve got our own “old stuff” to explore, which works great for us.
Kate, what a fantastic story. Thanks for sharing! 🙂