Friday, June 06, 2008

On the move!

I don't know where I ever found time to write books. It seems like I'm never home.

Saturday I'm leaving to attend Samford University's Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research for the third year in a row. I'm taking a course in Government Documents and Law Libraries.

Lest you think this is all very dusty and boring, let me tell you what it really is -- it's about people. It's about stories.

I was thinking the other day about the "theme" of my blog, because while it's largely about writing and writing-related stuff (yes, Hugh-in-a-towel is writing related. How could you think otherwise?), it's also about other things that interest me -- like genealogy and local history, about travel and books and films, about dogs and grandchildren.

And I got to thinking what they all had in common -- and basically, it's story.

Genealogy and local history are means of learning about peoples' stories, who they were, what they did, why they did it. All the things plot-challenged people like me love to learn about.

Travel brings me into the sphere of other people, teaches me about their lives, their culture, their stories. Books and films, of course, do exactly the same thing.

Dogs -- well, dogs are stories in and of themselves. And grandchildren are both the continuation of my own story as well as stories unto themselves.

All of it is grist for the mill. I never know what's going to spark off an idea. It will be interesting to see if Christo and Natalie get any new bits this week while I'm gone.

Speaking of ideas and bits, last night I had the pleasure of meeting fantastic medical thriller writer, Tess Gerritsen, for the first time. Her books are fantastic (and give me the creeps), and it was great fun to listen to her talk about how she gets her ideas for stories.

Not the same stories I get, that's for sure. But the gut level instinct that says, Yes, I have to write about this -- that's the same. I was comforted, too, when she said she didn't plan her books but just wrote and discovered what happened.

I have a signed copy of her Mephisto Club that I'll be giving away next week when I get back. If you want to be thrilled and scared by a very fine writer, drop in and comment sometime this week. I'll put your name in the hat.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Ellen said...

I would think that the whole world would give you ideas.....everything you see or hear or experience surely could set off an idea. And since everyone experiences things in a different way the same experience could inspire totally different stories.
I'll bet Christo and Natalie will get up to something this week but I don't know if they will tell you about it.

07 June, 2008  
Blogger Dina said...

Wow, all I had to do was see Hugh in that yellow towel, whew!!! :)

08 June, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

You're right, Ellen. They'll doubtless be up to something.

Maybe Christo will get a yellow towel!

Glad you enjoyed Hugh in the towel, Dina. He's something of a mascot around here!

08 June, 2008  
Blogger kimmyl said...

I would have loved to have heard her ideas. Love the pic by the way.

13 June, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

kimmy,
Do a google search for "tess gerritsen" and read some of her interviews. You will not get exactly the same talk we got, but you will get a good sense of how she came to write several of her books.

14 June, 2008  
Blogger kimmyl said...

Thanks Anne for the info.

14 June, 2008  

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