Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Quiet Mind is the Perfect Place for an Idea Attack

     Long drives usually make my eyes glaze over with boredom, but on the way home from the holidays I jumped at the opportunity because it meant a break from being the wet nurse for the back seat drivers.   
     "Mommy I can't find my nugget!" they screamed.
     "Sorry, Mommy's driving," I beamed.   
     Happily, I let my mind go blank.  White.  Empty.
 My New Happy Place!
Eye by Vjeran Lisjak & 
Wheel by Melinda Bylow via sxc.hu
     But the stillness was short-lived, because lots of happy little picture book ideas came to visit.  The unruly fellows yelled out their stories at the same time.  
      My husband was busy combating a barrage of flying crayons, so I fired up my Dragon Dictation app.  I was too excited to recite calmly, and ended up with a garbled mess of story bits.  My husband feeling heroic after winning the crayon battle, took pity on me and wrote down the ideas as they attacked. 

      "Start another page, please!"  I howled.
      "How many of these are there going to be?" he scowled.

     Thankfully the ideas finally formed a line, except for one mischievous dude throwing spit balls at me.  Sorry, I just don't think a book about a kid who's a truck driver makes any sense!  I thought.  Blam-o!  A really wet wad whacked me on the ear.   Fine, fine, I'll write it down.

      "Another page, honey - this whole story is coming out!" I hoped.
      "I'm done after this," he moped.

      Thirty miles later, 13 ideas and a story skeleton were recorded, my quota for PiBoIdMo was complete, and I learned a valuable lesson about the importance of a quiet mind. 

But how do I recreate the experience?  Where do you go to find a quiet place?  


  1. I love when everyone gets involved! Yes, the car is a great place for ideas. That's when I have the whole family trapped...no where to go and forced to listen to me ramble on about story ideas and coerced into contributing. "Help,I need another story idea!"

    1. I found when I was hanging out with my cousins and relaxing that ideas kept springing up. Also figured out I have a cousin with a good sense for random, funny stuff which would make four-year-olds laugh - this is good to know!

  2. I'm a stay-at-home and homeschool mom of five little ones (9 months to 9 years old) so quiet time is pretty much non-existent. Over the years I've learned to write and think and function regardless of the babbles, giggles, and hullabaloo a house full of children brings. Surprisingly, the chaos is quite frequently the birthplace of many of my picture book ideas.

    1. Oh bless you! I need to see my world as more "hullabaloo" than "screaming insanity."

  3. I just wrote about my quiet place on my blog today!

    So! Nice to see you again.

    1. I have not been taking advantage of nature recently because I'm being a pansy about the cold and the trees/power lines down everywhere and other poor excuses like that. I think I know how we are spending Friday now!


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