Last night after I finished my class, I was waiting at the bus stop outside my university’s library. I was feeling pretty good, and was in a humorous mood. So when two young ladies came out of the library, each carrying a large white board, my mirthful nature got the better of me. As soon as they came up to the bus stop I said, “You know, most people find a notebook just as useful and it actually fits inside a backpack.”
Parking myself at the rear of the bus I started letting the ideas flow. First I had to decide which of my characters to use for this new story. Immediately I chose Professor Otto Hofstadter, who was an expert/investigator into the various Para-Earths. But who to have work with him. I had several possibilities, but decided to wait until I got home to talk with my wife Helen, since Otto was her creation. I knew I wanted her to work with me on this story so I was content to wait. But as for the mushrooms, I decided they were ‘tree-shepherds’. They protected an area of trees, keeping them healthy and safe from harm. At first I thought about a lumber company, but when I got home Helen suggested instead a hidden marijuana farm that has been mysteriously abandoned.
From there she suggested we use Julie Cloudfoot’s younger brother, Johnny (who I established as being a student at the UC Santa Cruz). This seemed like an excellent idea since the university is surrounded by woods on all sides that extend for miles. So I quickly began jotting down all these ideas and know that we will be exploring them more down the road, after I complete one or two other projects I have under way.
From this, you can see how an innocent encounter and a chat led to a whole new story idea. Yes, there are a lot more details to work out, but we’ve got the basis and some of the cast already lined up. So remember, if something unusual catches your eye ask yourself some questions and as well anyone who might be nearby. You never know what may get your imagination up and running. There’s inspiration all around us, we just sometimes have to take a moment to recognize it.
Until next time, take care and keep writing.