The Unlikeliest of Places


Strange, the places where we find inspiration.  The other day, I had to look up some legal statutes.  I clicked on the wrong statute link, and ended up on the page listing Arkansas statutes regarding embalmers and funeral directors.  Apparently, there are lots of law governing things like: eye enucleation, transportation of dead bodies, abandoned cemeteries, and unclaimed bodies.  Of course, there would need to be; however, these are not things that I normally dwell on–unless, of course, I stumble upon them.  Then, I tend to start thinking, and wondering, and speculating.  And then…a story is born.

Well, truthfully, it isn’t all the way born yet.  It is still gestating.  But several pages have been hastily jotted down, along with notes for several more pages.  The basic outline is in my head.  I hope to have it fleshed out this week, but there is still some more research to be done.  There are pathology procedures to confirm, and specifics about autopsies that I need to verify.  There might be a visit to a morgue.

It seems like a lot of research for a short story.  But a story worth telling is worth telling well.  And, who knows, it might end up being more than a short story.

I do, however, have new respect for authors who write historical fiction.  I can’t even imagine the amount of heavy-duty research involved in believably recreating scenes and settings and events while having to take into consideration historical accuracy.  Let’s just add historical fiction to the list of “Things I Will Never Write,” right up there with high fantasy and hard-core science fiction.  I would love to do it, I wish I could do it, but it is just not something I am likely to master–kind of like foreign languages, and knitting complicated patterns, and cake decorating.  Sure, I can manage a few rough phrases in Spanish, and I can knit lot of single stitch scarves, and I can bake a gluten free cake like no one’s business…but that’s about it.

So this weekend, as the first really noticeable cool front of the season brings in some crisp air and rain showers, I will scribble out some more pages, maybe tuck a few cupcakes in the Viking, and knit a bit on the scarf I never quite finished last winter.  I might even finish the last of The White Queen book that I really don’t want to see end yet.  Maybe I will find something else that peaks my interest–another side road to take.


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