This weekend was really fun! Of course, it is a three-day weekend, so I have more time to do fun stuff. Anyway, we went to Oakland to visit friends and spend the night. The friends we stayed with had two cats: Biggie and Smalls. Biggie is 17 and dying, but very soft and cuddly. He is black and white, like my cat (Mattie). Smalls is 8 or 9 and brown-ish, gray-ish, black-ish and stripy. He is also a lovey. I am a cat magnet; Smalls loved to be on my lap and Biggie slept with me last night. They are very good kitties.
The son of my mom’s friend is almost 7 and loves LEGOs (and singing the song “Monster” over and over). We played with LEGOs a lot, and it got me to thinking about an idea for a story: Kids create a land and characters with LEGOs, and in the story it becomes real life. I think that would be really cool. (Speaking of which, has anyone seen the new LEGO movie? I haven’t but I hear it’s really good.) We made fortresses. Mine was a building created to keep an ancient staff with a python top safe. It was kind of mismatched, but it looked really awesome in the end.
Almost everything in Oakland sparked a story for me! The LEGOs, drawing, the city itself. We also went for a walk in a beautiful cemetery. When I read the first tombstone’s name, I immediately got the keys to the car from my parents and ran to get a notebook and pencil to write down the interesting names. Some were from the 1800s, and one person was first generation Greek! In the end I had 64 names written down.
A Good Author…
1. Sees inspiration everywhere, from the smallest attic window to the largest statue, authors see story ideas in any form. I think any author should be able to create a story from anything. Even a blank page.
2. Never gives up. If they’re stuck with a plot idea or name for a character, they push on, either by using a fill in for the time being or moving on to a different story and letting that one rest for a bit.
3. Always has a notebook on hand, just a small one with a pen or pencil. It’s good for jotting down quick ideas, names, or places. I’m still working on this one; I need a notebook small enough that I can just stick it in my jeans pocket.
4. Can be anyone. They don’t have to be a good speller or super-genius writer. They don’t even have to be good at writing; they just need to have the passion and drive.
5. Accepts constructive criticism gracefully, even if it’s totally the opposite of what they want to hear. They should want criticism.
Driving to Oakland, I spent the entire trip writing, finishing the fifth chapter of Nakoma and starting the sixth. I’m really excited! It’s coming along wonderfully. But I need more feedback. Jenna is the only one who has said anything (Jenna: I’m going to edit when I’m done, but I will keep your advice in mind).
I want to live in Oakland. I can see myself walking through the cemetery as an adult, writing down names for stories. I can see myself walking the streets, people-watching. I can see myself setting up LEGOs in an apartment and writing about them. I can see it now…
Carpe diem, as always.
Forever and always,