I meet people every day who inspire me. Not necessarily to greatness, though.
As a writer I’m always on the lookout for people with which to populate my novels. Many of the characters I create are conjured in my own imagination, but the seeds were planted there by those living, breathing people I come in contact with every day.
There’s the twenty-something who lives with his grandmother, standing there in his robe at 11:30 in the morning with a Rally soda in one hand and a cigarette in the other bragging to me about the Balckberry he just bought.
Or how about the bed-ridden Catholic scholar all alone in a grand house with no one but his manservant to keep him company.
Or the woman in a run-down, cluttered and filthy trailer sitting in front of a massive LED TV with her laptop and iPhone.
Then there’s the poor woman who has no one in the world, depressed, lonely, contemplating suicide. She says, “All I have is this trailer and my stupid dog.”
Or the boy with cerebral palsy and a heart of gold who just wants to walk again.
These are the people who inspire me, who plant seeds in the fertile soil of my imagination. Those seeds will grow and become ideas, characters, people who live in the stories in my head. I’ll give them names and histories, struggles and triumphs. I’ll get to know them and understand them. Some will be folks readers love, others will be villains the readers love to hate.
The crazy thing is, I never know how it’s going to turn out. I never know what is going to sprout next. But while I wait for those ideas to germinate and come to life I’ll continue to talk to people, to observe them, to learn their intricacies and quirks.
I’ll continue to gather seeds.
Do you get inspiration from the everyday people you rub shoulders with?