by Donna MacMeans
Several years ago, when RWA's annual conference was held in New Orleans, I heard a workshop on creativity presented by Felicia Mason. She maintained that as writers, we experience life in a whole different manner than non-writers. We see possibilities, when others see scenery. We hear sounds and instantly create metaphors to describe the sound while others dismiss it as white noise. In that workshop, Felicia challenged the group to think of the one thing they were meant to see in New Orleans. That one thing that we saw through our writer's eye that we could use in a story.
Growing up, I was the oldest girl with two older brothers. That has translated into a constant drive to "prove" that I'm as good as them. I face any challenge with a determination to win - which explains why four of my stories resulted from someone issuing me a challenge.
So I took Felicia's challenge and mentally reviewed all that I had seen in New Orleans and discovered the one thing that spoke to me, but didn't seem to resonate with anyone else - the Charm Gates at the Court of Two Sisters restaurant. I eventually developed a time travel built around the Charm Gates. One of these days it may even see publication.
So now I'm challenging you. What have you experienced recently that singled you out and spoke to your writer's soul? Was there anything in Dallas at the recent convention? I know I stayed on the twentieth floor and thought about those small open areas by the elevators that dropped down to the restaurant area, nineteen floors below. I mean you could drop a body easily down one of those chutes. It's a shame I don't write contemporary (smile). What about a vacation? Was there something that inspired you? Could you create a story around it? Let me know, and I'll send the person with the best inspirational experience an autographed copy of Elizabeth Bevarly's book, The Ring on Her Finger.