WHEN A TURTLE COMES CALLING
I’m admittedly an indoor person. When you have a ton of allergies to outdoor things, indoors works for you. So a few minutes ago, I walked outside to look at the blooming irises.
Now, Hubby is outside all the time. He loves the outdoors, the woods, the bays and rivers and the gulf. He rarely sees snakes, rarely is bothered by bees or wasps, and he says he hasn’t seen a turtle in a couple years.
A few days ago, I’m outside for ten minutes and get dive-bombed by a wasp and see a snake. Today, I’m outside for less than five minutes and see a huge turtle in my iris bed.
And it gets me to thinking about whether the oddity is in awareness and observation. The odds are greater for him than me to see anything, right? Yet, I do and he doesn’t. Why?
Not having a clue pushed the thought, of course, to a storyline. Two witnesses view the same crime and yet their observations are totally different. Who is right? It matters when another’s life depends on the answer. Can both be right? If so, how? And how does one then go about protecting the potential victim?
My point is that for writers turtles come calling all the time. Mental turtles. The unexpected shows up and triggers thoughts that are unrelated and yet relatable. Something clicks inside a writer’s mind and raises questions that lead to a situation or event or a character—perhaps several of them—that swirl until, like frozen fruit in a blender, they become a smoothie.
Writers shouldn’t fear the turtles. They should embrace them. Welcome them. Tag along with them and see where they go. It could be that they’ll lead the mind to an unexpected but delightful place. One that terrifies, enraptures; one that opens a door into a mind that had been closed.
You never know when your next novel idea will appear. You never know where it will appear, or what might trigger it.
One thing is certain. When a turtle comes calling, you have to make a choice: to ignore it or check it out. If you ignore it, you could be closing the door in your mind to your next best seller. If you check it out, you might just find yourself with a great new book idea that captures your imagination and inspires you!
© 2014, Vicki Hinze. Hinze is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is Down and Dead in Dixie. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s online community: Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. www.vickihinze.com.