Friday, November 1, 2013

Where do the ideas come from? Part 1

One question which writers frequently hear is, “where do you get your ideas from?” Even though I just published my second book, I don’t feel like a writer much of the time, but people still ask me this question. My answer runs something like, “I wish I could stop the ideas”. I lay awake at night with ideas running through my head; I wake up in the middle of the night with a dream which would make a great story. I meet people every day who I can picture running the show in one of my stories. With all these ideas for fictional stories, I have yet to publish any fiction. Hmm? What is up with that?

But back to the “where do your ideas come from” question.

“The Christmas Story in 40 Days” has just been released. It is a devotional which follows the first Christmas, from an angel telling Zachariah that he would have a son, to an angel telling Joseph that he too would have a son, to both those sons being born. It is not a book about the kings or the camels or a star. The donkey only makes a questionable appearance. This isn’t your typical Christmas story. So where did the idea for it come from?

Two places, and I’ll share one of those places this time and the other one on my next blog post.

In the fall of 2008, for the only time ever, both of my kids were away at college. As any Christian mother would be, I was worried about their spiritual journey. I wanted to mail them each a book which they might actually read, something short and easy to read, something that would strengthen their faith journey. It was mid-November, so I thought that a book about the first Christmas would be ideal. I looked on-line for several days for such a book, but didn’t find anything which fit my wish list.

I looked at the calendar. It was 41 days until Christmas. I opened my Bible to the book of Luke, to the story of the first Christmas. I sighed. You can do this, a voice came into my head. Ok, I will.

I counted out 40 passages leading up to that holiest of nights. The next night I sent out an email of Luke 1:1-4 along with my thoughts on those four verses. I kept it up until Christmas Eve, emailing my verses to my two kids and a few friends.

Can someone really write up to 200 words about only a few Bible verses? You’ll have to check back on Sunday for my post which answers that question.

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