I was attacked today. Yes, attacked. It was amazing.
I know I’ve mentioned that I work from images. Well, last night I fell asleep with an image of a Tyrannosaurus Rex inside my jacket pocket. Why? Well, I have no idea whatsoever. But the image is a cool one, and the IDEA of having a T-Rex inside your pocket, eating up little bits of cookies and whatever else I stick in there, but I have to be CAREFUL, you know, because he BITES, well, that just made me laugh. This morning, I woke with a SENTENCE IN MY HEAD. “I have a giant in my pocket.” And that REALLY tickled me, because everyone knows giants are too big to fit inside pockets.
And my kids noticed me thinking, and I explained to them what I was thinking about. I’ve had these kids for awhile now, and they are pretty much used to me going off on wild mental tangents for no obvious reason. Then I got into explaining – to them, and the parts of the storyline that I could remember, and then I thought, well, a GIANT is in the eye of the beholder. So, really a giant could fit in the pocket of a being MUCH larger than he is–a GIANT-GIANT, if you see what I mean. And this could go on forever upwards in size, AND downwards in size, so everyone is a giant to someone else, and a tiny, Lilliputian being to others.
And this is how ideas happen, for me, at least some of the time. My brain warms up, the circuits connect, and my thoughts travel gleefully and effortlessly from spot to spot, with no hesitation, and I smile and laugh and talk to myself and in general, probably look like a loon. But creativity is crazy like that. I think my last post was about that very thing.
So, that led me to think of a story I had planned to write–on my LIST of things to do in my notebook, and that was a story called The Inclement Giants. It was a great little concept, but I never sat down to try to write it, because it just didn’t seem that clear. And I realized, I might just have written that story, or at least the crux of the story in my morning musings–4 YEARS after I got the idea. I spent a little time roughing out the WHEN of the story, and the WHERE, and the HOW of it too, because they are all integral plot points, you know. And I found that, surprisingly, the concept fit into my Inclement world like a missing puzzle piece does when you finally track that sucker down under the couch after an hour of looking. It just snaps into place, like it was meant to be there all along, and of course, it was. It was MADE for that spot.
And so, I sat down with a piece of paper. Just a thin, cheap piece of copy paper for the printer, and I drew my GIANT, or at least what I think he might look like right NOW. He may change. And, as you can see in this drawing, he’s really scribbly and rough. But, I like that. It fits, somehow.
And then, because I don’t like to waste anything, I scrawled down a few ideas for the T-Rex as well. It will be a little kids’ book–if it is ever born. The one about the Giants will be at least a chapter book for maybe 8 year olds, if not a novella for older kids. But I see illustrations in it too, so it HAS to be a visual book.
And all that in a couple hours. I love it when I get attacked like that, by inspiration, and then a rush of ideas just tumbles through my brain. Now, I’m off to take my inspired brain into more page design for the VALENTINE, and then, I have to take photographs this afternoon. So, my lesson today is…even after 4 years, a story can come together, and with surprising rapidity. And I got a bonus story (maybe) to boot. And, when an idea comes, it is like a strange, wonderful path into the forest. Following it for a while can lead you to great treasures. Follow your path today, just to see what there is to see. Perhaps you will get lucky, and giants (or something) will ATTACK!
Tracy Lovett is an artist, author, illustrator, photographer, wife, mom, and all around creative gal trying to spread the message that creativity is one of our most important qualities. She uses her books, photographs, and writings to encourage others to just take the chance and be creative. This BLOG is about her creative journey into all her creative endeavors, including writing for children and adults, art and illustration, photography and photo-illustration, and book-building from beginning to end. There may be other “sidetrips” that can’t be predicted–so hop in and enjoy the ride! You may learn more about Tracy here. You may follow her on Facebook here.