Friday, July 15, 2011

Drawing from Your Everyday Life

This is a tree in our backyard. I know it's hard to see, but it's carved with "T 'heart symbol' D." When we first moved here fifteen years ago, I imagined all kinds of scenarios because I knew the names of all the people who lived in this house before us, and none of them were a T or D. Also, they bought the land from farmers to build this house--the house had only been there for two years. I figured I would never know the "rest of the story" of the romantic tree.

Then, one day, a man stopped by. He seemed a little embarrassed and said to me, "Several years ago I was dating a woman and we came to this land and carved our initials on a tree in your backyard. Is it still there?"

I assured him the tree was still there and the initials were still visible. 
He smiled and said, "Let me explain. I asked her to marry me there and we carved that into the tree. At the time no one lived here, and there were more trees on this lot. We asked the owner to sell us this land to build a house. He wouldn't sell. Then, years later he did sell it to a couple, not us. We bought land over the ridge there and built a house there. We're actually your neighbors now. I'm Tim. My wife, Debbie, is in the car. We were wondering...could we go back there, take a photo by the tree? It's our anniversary." 

Well, what would you say?
I didn't even peek, though my extreme curious nature wanted to take notes, ask more questions and yes, take a photo. It was a private moment for them and I wasn't going to spoil the moment. I later got to know them better and they are a nice couple. But how often do you actually get to know the rest of the story? A love story! 

I make up stories, have friends who make up stories. Do you ever take one of those true life moments and make up a story from it? If you are a writer, you will use everything from your life that intrigues you. Things like this can launch a novel.

This week I decided I needed to look around me more for things like this, so I took this photo--almost too late, as it's getting rather grown out. I'm going to be a lot more aware of these interesting little tidbits that would fire my imagination. My little life right here in Bird's Nest, Indiana. My life. It's what I know best but tend to take for granted. No more.

By the way, my real home is not Bird's Nest. I made that up. But it really looks like Bird's Nest, Indiana here. The town has sprung up around that tree. That very romantic tree. Can you see it?

Do you have a true life tidbit that has launched a story for you? What sort of prompts do you use?

Thursday, July 14, 2011