We've been planning vacation time. It's still a ways off in the future (and if you watched Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes last night, he'd be spanking my hand for making time move to fast by planning too far into the future), but as I look at the things I want to do, the places I want to go, the things I want to see, I find myself inspired. Places inspire me. Settings. We're going to Bryce Canyon. I've never been to Bryce Canyon, but my DH, the amateur photographer, has been looking at photo ops, and has he found some beauties! "Come, look at this," he calls me from his cave. I look over his shoulder and I see, with my imagination's eye, something magical. Turns out Bryce Canyon has a unique landscape (okay, I knew that much) but the photographs capture something else. Credit good photography or credit my wild imagination, but a story started in that moment.
The author part of me started making notes - mental notes at first - and then yesterday I did some additional research while I had some down time. I had visions of the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz popping out of the scenery (Hoodoos are prone to dissolving in water). I had visions of fairy queens and princesses emerging from the "Fairy Chimneys." Well you get the idea. Much more, but until I can put it into a story, I think I'll spare you my wild imaginings. My dilemma? Ok, since these are Fairy Chimneys, does it become a Fairy Tale? Does it venture into the fantasy genre? (Sorry, I don't feel adequate to that task). I'm good with paranormal - that's my leaning - but how far out of paranormal will a fairy chimney take me? These are all rhetorical questions, really, but it does make you stop and appreciate Aesop and the Brothers Grimm. The possibilities for my fertile imagination are endless, but I'll stick with what I know.
New story ideas are always exciting. The problem is that oftentimes, because I tend to be "setting" inspired, I start to write from the scene in front of me and it fizzles out fairly quickly. How much can you write in one place? And then, other times, that location rises to the occasion and provides a perfect place for what I can build around it. Right now I feel like Stephen King vacationing in an empty Colorado resort hotel at the onset of winter. I only hope I can put the magic I'm seeing into something everyone else can see and enjoy.