I was recently asked where I got my ideas from. My response was a somewhat flippant sounding "Everywhere and everything! Nothing and no one is safe". And I was being completely serious. Today proved it! It's no secret that I've been struggling with Mara's Story, the still untitled sequel to Three of Hearts. For the longest time I thought the story was about Mara finding her one, not unlike her sister Leslie. But she quickly set me straight. Damon and Mara's story is very different than Leslie and her men's. They've known each other forever and have even known they were mates for years. It's an interesting story.
Once I got that down the first part of the story came together quickly and I was thrilled. I wasn't thrilled for long, however. Because while I now knew what tore them apart, I didn't know what would bring them back together. I've got pages and pages of failed ideas and not quite right scenes. After months of struggling with this, life finally took pity on me and showed me what needed to happen for these two to reach their Happily Ever After. And the person who taught me that lesson was none other than my 6-year-old daughter.
My baby girl has been refusing to clean her room for awhile now, a rather common problem. And I've been going crazy beating my head against her stubborn determination to not do what I wanted her to do. Today the light bulb finally clicked on and I saw what needed to be done to get her to actually pick up a toy and place it in the toy bin and not the floor. So what did I do? This is where I'm sure parents everywhere are going to cringe but, I shamelessly bribed her. She cleans her room and we'll go see 'Ramona and Beezus' this weekend. I didn't yell, I didn't issue ultimatums, there were no spankings. Which honestly in this situation don't work. I simply sat her down and showed her the movie times, she picked one and then I said 'I need you to clean your room first. You do this and we'll have a girls afternoon, just you and mommy.' She's got half her room clean this afternoon. I about fell over, people have been telling me she's too young to do this. No she isn't she just wasn't properly motivated to do the work. And honestly it's really no different than the allowance I pay my son for completing his chore list.
Now back to Mara and Damon, they've been going round and round in circles, over the issues keeping them apart. Once I realized what worked with my daughter just might work with them, the scene I've been struggling to write came right together. I can almost see how the story is going to end and they're both much happier and easier to work with.
So you see nothing is sacred when it comes to ideas. Keep your mind open and you never really know what the Muse will toss out. I mean who knew what would work on a 6-year-old would work on a couple 20-something werebeavers?