Inspiration – From my Grandmother
My grandkids have given me a couple of book ideas, but I never thought my grandmother, Rinda Hoskins Wilson would inspire one. I never met her, ever. She died when my mom was two. Then I read a book, and my grandma inspired this blog post, and eventually a story, I hope.
Part 1 – A Mentor Book Gives Me Inspiration: This book is beautiful, inside and out. It’s a grandma story I found for Saturday Reads, but I didn’t read it. Why not? The story wasn’t about my grandmother.
It was about the author’s, or one she’d heard about. Suhalla, the main character, asks her Mama what her Grandma Annie was like. It’s funny, I’ve always wondered about mine too.
Mama answers. She tells Suhalla how Grandma loved the moon. How she’d help anyone who needed a hand. Then the most amazing thing happens . . . Grandma comes down the ladder to Suhalla’s window, and they have an adventure . . . on the moon!
It’s a lovely story, but it doesn’t have my grandmother in it. I tried to find her, but I couldn’t. I was hoping somehow, through the power of story, I’d see a tiny piece of her.
Then a few days later I got an idea. . . . Why not write a grandma story about mine? I don’t know where it’s going, but I have to flesh it out . . . Story magic keeps nudging me to figure it out.
Part 2 – The Search for Inspiration in Two Old Blog Posts: Inspiration is the spark, but it needs fuel to grow. My only source right now is two old posts I wrote about her, but it’s a start . . .
When I moved to the lake, I also found three stories my mom had never heard about a switch, a rabid dog, and a handkerchief. If I’ve made you curious, here’s the link to those stories:
One of my cousins sent these two photos after I published the first post. I’d never seen them before. The first one is my grandmother, grandfather, and their four oldest children. My mom and her brother Don aren’t there . . . They weren’t born yet.
The second one is my Great Grandfather George’s family. He was a widower with two daughters. He married my Great Grandmother Mary, and they had two little girls and two little boys. They’re in the light-colored clothing. Grandma Rinda’s on the far right. Mom said I looked like her when I was 7. I think it’s because she fixed my hair that way for school pictures, on purpose.
This post, Tracing Rinda’s Roots, took me backward in time. I followed my grandfather’s family back to 1772 when they left Scotland. Here’s the link: http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/tracing-rindas-roots
Part 3 – Finding a Story for Me and My Grandmother: Here are the two of us together. Now my challenge – to find a way to put us into a story together.
It’s funny, the last thing I wrote in my July 2017 post was a bucket list. I said stories have a way of finding me, and that I hoped to find a few from visiting the past. This one came from a Mother’s Day picture book that didn’t make it into Saturday Reads. It feels like Story Magic’s giving me a prompt, again.
To develop the story, I’ll need to ask myself a few key questions.
* What kind of book should this be? A picture book, chapter book, or middle grade?
It depends on the story and its audience.
* Who’s the best audience for it? A young child or a teen?
* How will I find my grandma? Will I see her in the mirror, hear her whisper in the wind, see her in the clouds, or find her in my dreams? Any of these are possible.
Maybe I’ll combine them, or maybe there’s a better idea I haven’t thought of, yet.
* What’s at stake for me/my main character? What do I get if I find grandma?
What do I lose if I don’t?
For now . . . I’ll let my ideas marinate . . . until I can find my way into the story.
I hope it’s soon, for Me and My Grandmother.
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When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!