Sheila Pierson is a writer of short stories and poetry. She currently has two special projects in the works. One is a collection of flash fiction that she plans to publish this fall. The other is a creative collaboration with her mother, a talented photographer, whereby they are combining beautiful black and white pictures with stories inspired by the photos. Although she has been writing since childhood, she has only recently surrendered to her passion, and her writing journey is only beginning.
First, let me thank J. Scott Sharp – He is a friend, fellow blogger, so supportive and just an all-around super nice guy. When he asked me to guest blog, I was thrilled and humbled. After all, why on earth would he want me to write a post for him? What could I possibly offer his amazing followers? I decided I would write on ‘finding the story,’ and as you will see, sometimes the story finds the writer!
Living in a small rural area, as I do, nothing much changes. Familiar people and places are at every turn until you could probably find your way around blindfolded. Although I’m not from here, I’ve lived here long enough that it’s old hat by now. However, a blogger buddy asked me the other day if I ever get ideas from my little town. The first thought I had was, “Are you kidding? It’s socioeconomically depressed, the town voted years ago to destroy the original magnificent courthouse in favor of a 1960s boxstyle building with zero character, and the biggest news going right now is the protesting of a dump site.” That doesn’t scream inspiration to me, but I let the thought set in for while.
There have been some oddities around here, some strange occurrences. One incident, in particular, happened on our own property. A couple of years ago my husband was replacing a rotting floor in an old shed when he saw something under the floorboards. He continued to pull them back until an old shower curtain was revealed, obviously wrapped around something. He opened it to reveal an old shotgun and a small hatchet. This definitely got our attention. The authorities were called in and the gun was shipped off for testing. The last we heard, it was too old and decrepit to make any determinations but they didn’t think it had been used in any crimes. I’ll let my writer’s mind come up with a different scenario, thank you very much. It was a strange feeling, to say the least, knowing it was purposely placed under those boards years earlier and for what reason? Oh, the questions that need answers…And yes, I’m working on a story about it now.
The point I’m making is that sometimes we need to take a look at our surroundings with fresh eyes, pretend to be a visitor and really look at our community and towns – We may find a story hiding just around the corner, or under the floor, as it were.
What kind of stories have you found right under your nose? Any strange experiences with hidden weapons/treasures/bodies on your property?