Earlier this month, I spent the weekend at the at a very old hotel in San Antonio, Texas for EPICON where I met up with a few TWRP authors, several editors and publishers and many other talented colleagues. But that’s not what I want to tell you about.
While there, I did very mundane and touristy types of things—strolling along the river, eating Mexican food, shopping for shoes. (Yes, I love shoes, too.) But everything took on new meaning this trip. I might have been doing the same things I do in my hometown, but the new location made me see these events in a whole new light.
As I strolled the river, they were dying it green for St. Patrick’s Day. On recent trips to this great city, I wondered what would happen if someone fell in, but this time I wondered if the dye would stain a person’s skin and hair green. And how long would it take for the dye to wear off? That brought a dozen or so scenarios for the first meet of a hero and heroine. Think of the possibilities. A Martian hero looking for a mate? A were-reptile? And the obvious, a leprechaun? Or what if she had an important job interview?
Later during dinner, we were entertained by a mariachi band and the waitresses all wore colorful blouses and skirts. This one took me back in time to the days leading to the siege of the Alamo. I thought of a hero who might have spent his last moments with a lovely senorita he’d lost his heart to. Of course, she’d have to take matters into her own hands to prevent him from dying a tragic death as he fought in the historic battle. Happy endings are a must. Maybe she’d tie him up and keep him in the root cellar. Well, for Scarlet Rose, she’d have to tie him to the bed.
So, did I mention the hotel I stayed in was old? During free time, I roamed the hotel, admiring the old yet elegant décor and letting my imagination of days gone by wander. Oh, and looking for ghosts. (The hotel is rumored to be haunted.) Wouldn’t it be the perfect place for a paranormal story? The heroine is a ghost trying to break free of a curse? Or maybe a heroine gets lost in the maze of halls and instead of walking into her room, she ends up going back in time? And entering the hero’s room?
Shopping for shoes? Sorry, no stories popped for me here. I just had to throw in the fact that I bought a nice pair of heels. Okay, now that I think about it, that’s definitely a Cinderella story. Very contemporary. The heels would have to be a couple inches higher than the ones I bought. And kickass red, not black with bows.
Why am I telling you all this? I just want to remind you that as a writer, you have the greatest gift and if you only open your mind to your daily happenings, your imagination can take you anywhere.
By the way, I never saw any ghosts, but with a little imagination, even groaning pipes can play with your mind…or inspire a story.
Sr. Editor, Scarlet Rose