I lead a pretty boring life, which is not good if you are a writer.
Interesting, crazy and funny lives can lead to some pretty interesting stories.
But all is not lost. Fortunately, you can take simple happenings, memories and family member quirks and add them to your manuscript. You can add these small tidbits to your storyline or characters and make for some interesting reading.
I've had this picture frame for years. I picked it up at either a yard sale or thrift store. Many times I have thought of getting rid of it, but I loved it too much. I finally searched for some family pictures to stick in the windows. I put the baby pictures of my three boys in the tiny round windows. My oldest is looking out from the attic. The middle picture is my mom holding my youngest in a rocking chair. Those are my favorites of the entire frame. My grandparents greet you at the front door and my gr grandparents are on both sides of them. I just love this little 'family tree' frame.
I have taken little quirks, physical traits and unusual mannerisms from my family and added them to my stories.
For instance, how else would I come up with a name such as Ollie Belle for my main character in a chapter book I have written. My mother in law once told me if I ever had a girl, I could name the baby after her and my mother and call her Ollie Belle. It is a cute name, but I'm kind of glad I didn't have a girl.
My father was in the army during WWII and served in Japan for a year after the bombs were dropped. We have listened to his war stories for years. I used them as a basis for a short story titled The War is Finally Over.
Lucy of Tupper's Holler is very loosely based on my grandparents and gr parents life in the early 20th century. There are many things in the manuscript that I would never thought to put in a story had it not been true facts about them. For instance, my grandmother was a very superstitious person and my grandfather was what I would call a healer. He stopped blood and blew the fire out of burns. And, my gr grandmother was rumored to be a witch. I would never think to put these kind of things in a story if they weren't a part of my ancestor's lives.
I wrote a short story about mine and Charley's courtship and marriage. It is titled, Always There to Hold my Hand.
Simple things such as the memory of the smell of honeysuckle at your grandparent's house, picking berries, winning ribbons at a county fair for canned goods, working in an enamelware factory during the 1940s, unusual family names, how a cousin or aunt hated sleeping on straw tic beds, your grandmother making quilts and selling them for $2 and the refreshing taste of cool well water in the bucket by the kitchen door can work their way into your stories and poems.
Sit down and look at your family's pictures and make a list of interesting happenings, physical features, mannerisms and quirks. You might find great material to add to your next story or poem.