Where do stories come from?

One of the questions that kids (and adults) most often ask authors is “Where do you get your ideas from?” 

“From everywhere,” would be my answer. News items, research, things I overhear (I’m a terrible eavesdropper on other people’s conversations) and of course stories people tell me.

Today I was procrastinating about starting writing, so I went for a walk with Gus the miniature schnauzer. I bought the paper and some milk and the green thread I needed to make curtains (more procrastination) and then we stopped at a table outside a cafe so I could procrastinate even more by having a coffee in the sunshine.  And Jill, an elderly friend, stopped to chat.

I don’t know how we got onto the topic of lottery tickets, but she told me the story of her great-aunt. It was in the 1920s.  Jill’s great-aunt won a lot of money in a lottery, so she took her niece (Jill’s mother) with her on a ship to England. There, Jill’s mother met Jill’s father; they married and came back to Australia and Jill was born. That’s an interesting story, I thought, but because I’m very curious, I just had to ask a few questions. 
“How did  your mother meet your father? Were they strangers, or did your great-aunt have friends in England?”

Jill told me that years before the trip the England, her great-aunt was engaged to an English sea captain.  But he died before they could marry. When she went to England with her niece, they stayed with the sea-captain’s family…and in a kind of delayed, one-generation-later happy ending, Jill’s mother and the captain’s nephew fell in love and got married. What a lovely story, I thought. 

I also thought, I bet I can use that sometime!

Just an example of where stories come from.

Goodbye and thanks for having me on the Christchurchkids blog. Happy reading and writing!


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