I grew up on a sheep ranch in southern Idaho, where often my busy mother would shoo my sister and me outside to play. She had a heavy list of chores that needed done without us around her feet complaining, “I’m bored.” Once outdoors, it didn’t take us long to come up with ways to entertain ourselves, especially through the summer months.
Some days, we imagined ourselves doctors in a busy hospital filled with patients (i.e. the lambing sheds and chicken coop). Or, we played farmer and used our dad’s garden hose to irrigate our tiny dirt fields lined with rocks.
Occasionally, we donned our suits and sunglasses and swam in the cattle trough letting visions of palm trees dance in our minds. (PS – don’t use Jergen’s lotion for tanning lotion unless you want a sunburn you’ll not soon forget!)
My favorite game was Academy Awards. Glammed up in our mother’s nightgowns and high heels, we’d march forward and accept Prell Shampoo bottles (our version of the coveted Oscar statue) and blow kisses to our adoring fans (the fence posts).
I’m often asked how I come up with stories for my novels. The easy answer is this: I go inside my head and pretend. I imagine being someone else and think about what I’d do in a given situation, and how I’d feel if this or that happened.
I think most novelists would say the same.
WHAT DID YOU PRETEND AS A CHILD?
Tell us in the comments . . . and while you’re there, I invite you to congratulate fellow Belles Lisa Wingate and Rachel Hauck. Both were nominated for the prestigious Christy Award (the big Prell bottle in the inspirational market). Winners will be announced early this summer, and I’m cheering for both of them!