What I love most about being a writer is that ideas can come from anywhere. Innocent phrases or even titles of magazine articles can bloom into story ideas and what was once one idea suddenly is another — magical morphing words are discovered.
Recently, I caught a magazine title, “Chasing Sleep,” and it was like being a racehorse and hearing that bell…I was off! The title created such a visual impression that I imagined a story far from what the article intended.
Because I love young adult and paranormal romance I thought of scenarios in which a damsel in distress is locked away in her dreams, running either to or from some unseen hero…chasing sleep and the beauty of the dream that she sought. In reality, the article was about a wellness retreat called Kamalaya on the Thai island of Koh Samui.
Of course, the knowledge of what the article was really about only sparked more ideas. It was written by an insomniac who traveled to this wellness facility to seek the advice of a naturopath. This article in the hands of a writer, sparked my imagination and now the insomniac was a heroine taking an exhaustive trek through wilderness and perils. She wasn’t trying to find answers for sleepless nights, she was there to seek out a prophet who would tell her that she is destined for greatness and along the way will be tempted by a sexy, but potentially dangerous man.
In reality, the article’s author was told his sleepless nights would be solved if he stopped eating and drinking late at night. Not nearly as intriguing as the scenario painted by my imagination, but then again, I would never have come up with the idea if it wasn’t for the original article.
Imagination is like the air we breathe. It’s always there, but we take it for granted. Inhale it regularly and fill yourself with it.