Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where do those ideas come from?

Yesterday, after weeks of wedding prep, I went for a massage at the MT School of Massage. My therapist, Tiara, was fun and chatty. We talked about all sorts of things to start out. Then she mentioned that she'd wanted to be a pediatrician.

"I quit because I couldn't handle losing a patient."
"Wow, I understand." Loss is especially hard when it's a child.

She started to tell me of her dream of returning to school to find her niche. But she loved working with children and needed to find a way to do that. Then she told me about a little autistic boy who had lost his mother in a tragic accident. She'd gone over to the family's home and taken a small massage table.

His little brothers really enjoyed rotating 10 minute massages. But the older (9 or 10) brother didn't let anyone touch him-ever. The other boys kept rotating on the table and calling out to him how fun it was and how good it felt.

Finally, the autistic boy said he would lie on the table if no one touched him.

Tiara agreed.

All three boys began rotating turns on the table. The two younger siblings had their 10 minutes again while oohing and ahhing over how good it felt.

Tiara asked if he'd like to see how it felt. The boy agreed to a trial for a minute.

He loved it! He let her touch him!

Now, he calls and asks her to bring the table and give him a massage. He's begun letting family members hug him and touch him.

Tiara worked with patience and drew him out with her 10 minute rotation idea.

I suggested that she'd found her calling in helping traumatized or autistic children learn to accept human connection again.
I told her how amazing that accomplishment was and if she could find a way to work with children like that she might have not only her calling, but a way to reach her other dream of travel.

How? Other people will want to learn her techniques. She can travel the country teaching what she creates.

Where do ideas come from? The most unexpected places.

So now I have a revision to do for my first book, When She Wasn't Looking. My heroine had a boring job and no internal conflict. I've been sitting on it for over a year because I couldn't find what I was looking for to fix it.

Voila! I get a massage and both Tiara and I were inspired in a whole new way through a simple conversation. We both crackled with excitement. She's going back to school to finish studying psychology and I'm creating a whole new career and inner conflict for my first book. One that I think will push it into a much better story!

Ideas and inspiration come from every day life. There are no magic pills. They just happen and you run with them. Every person you talk to might be needing your inspiring thoughts that pop out of "no where" or you might end up in a symbiotic situation like we did.

Ultimately, I believe God puts people in our paths to nudge us in the right direction. I believe the inspiration comes from Him and He plops you in the right place to hear it.

This idea is radically different than what I'd previously written. But I realized that I could keep so much of the story that it would not only work, but would give the plot sudden spark by simply changing a few character jobs!

Funny thing is that I think God has been trying to get me to that place for a long time. Character jobs (what they do for a living) has been on the top of my mind for that entire year. I just didn't connect the dots until meeting Tiara! He had to nearly smack me upside the head (okay, I was in painful pressure point release therapy at the time, but it was the same thing.)

Next time someone asks an author, "Where do you get your ideas?"

You can answer, "From people just like you."

God Uses Broken Vessels


  1. Ang,

    Like this post. I especially like the end where you say you can "from people like you" when asked where you get your ideas. Isn't it funny how and when these things come about?

  2. So cool, Angie! I'm glad you have a new direction.

    I need to try our local massage therapy school. It could help relieve the last bit of back pain from my muscle spasms from last week. It's about half the cost of using a regular massage therapist.


  3. I love the Montana School of Massage. I would highly suggest searching out massage schools in your area. The students have to get a set amount of hours for their graduation and you get discount pricing on a very necessary health treatment. It surprises me that some people think massage is an extra. I get rid of headaches, muscle spasm, and fatigue not to mention stress with massage. And then again, there's the inspiration that comes from an interesting person.
    No, I can't afford spas for massage, but I can have a reasonably priced one from a skilled student. Excellent option!