What did you see today? Your wife, your husband, a broken coffee cup, grass, a flattened bottle cap, co-workers? You get the idea. There’s no way you can take in or retain everything you see, although some of what you observe can be quite useful. One of the first things I saw this morning was something that God loves dearly…I looked in the mirror. A bit rough but it was me. (I got that from Max Lucado.)
Now, let’s dig a little deeper. As an author when I look around I try to take things that I see at more than face value.There is a story or a character in many of the things we casually dismiss. I remember several years ago the oak trees around my house had put out their leaves a little differently that year. The lower branches looked like (at least to me) green, flying, shaggy baboons. So I immediately backlogged them into my brain until such time I could bring them into the story I was writing at that time.
The animal kingdom is full of beasts that can be restructured into entirely different creatures. One such creature I saw in my mind’s eye was similar to a meer cat with yellow eyes that wrapped around it’s head starting in front and ending on the sides so the creature effectively had one hundred and eighty degree vision in both directions. This friendly beast ended up in a book also.
Check your yard especially during the summer. The sights, sounds, smells and heat can all trigger fodder for your next story to consume. The winter brings its own sinister side with the appearance of death in the local flora and fauna. And spring brings waves of yellow and green stuff that makes me sneeze a lot and my eyes leak. Regardless of the genre you tend to dabble in, the choices we have outside of that amazing organ we call a brain to inspire is practically limitless. Put environment and gray matter together and WOW! What an unbeatable combination. So go stick your head out of a window and write a bestseller!