Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The three Rs...reading, writing, and riding

Jumping in the car (well....van), cranking the music, and going for a long drive, is one of my favorite things to do. With no errands to run or destination in mind, I feel free--happy. My kids quiet, my mind clears, and I can think to the beat of the music while I delight in the view of the valleys, streams and farms. I love to discover new places and the kids and I have discovered many "favorite" rides. Our best ride is the drive around Bird Island, near Lincoln beach at Utah Lake. We love the lake. My boys have a fantastic time discovering new birds along the shore line, and of course, we always have to stop to admire the spiders and insects in the rocks. We find a fossil or two, and then go on our way. I truly enjoy this time with my kids. Not only do they learn to appreciate the beauty that God has created on this earth, but they learn about new and amazing things. With each trip, their world broadens a bit more.

Riding and driving is also the best time for me. I love to write novels. Like an artist, the locales we visit and the amazing things we discover inspire my stories. I like to write about the places I visit and love the very best. I always try to incorporate the mountains, lakes, and towns we find into my novels. It feels like I'm bringing a little bit of that area home with me. I'm also a "people watcher". Some people might call that "staring", but I think of it more along the lines of "discovering".  I enjoy seeing how different people live their lives. Everyone has something unique to offer this world-- the farmer, the fisherman, the grocer, and so many, many more. Each person I see along my way inspires the characters in my stories. With just a passing glance, a new character can suddenly pop into my head, and slowly, a story begins to form. Seeing people and visiting new places help to bring my characters and plot to life. I can find the story's "personality" in my mind, and I love to create my new character's individuality. While writing the novel, my characters become real in my mind. I'm able to discover their background, their fears, their joy, and unique nature. And just as my characters come to life, so do the locales in which my stories are set. I enjoy researching new places and even more, visiting new places. 

Taking rides with my family is the inspiration for my creativity. I may not ever see all of my novels in print, but I am determined to never lose sight of my ability to create and discover. Like a souvenir, my stories are memories of the places I've seen, visited and loved. I'm blessed to live in such a diverse area with cities, valleys, mountains and deserts. I hope, like me, that the rides we take and the places we discover will leave lasting memories for my children, and will one day inspire in them the desire to create in their own unique ways.

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