“The only way to have a life is to commit to it like crazy.” Angelina Jolie

Anything can grab my attention as a potential story starter or poem. Especially emotions. They can hit you like a 9 foot nuke or as softly as a butterfly landing on your nose. Emotions are the heart of life, of stories.

I recently started reading a book called The Sound of One Hand Clapping by Australia native Richard Flanagan and I underlined this quote on page 44: “There was birth and there was love and there was death, and there were only these stories in life and no others…” I thought it was fitting to the things that move me to write about murder; how someone handles the loss of a loved one, how they move forward, treat their family, their friends, their spouses. How does death affect your life? That question alone inspires me to write more.

I like quotes. I love quotes, actually. I love that they light some little dark corner of my head or heart and I remember them. I have a quote that someone took the time to transcribe, of Bob Marley speaking about his wife. Printed out it fits on the entire letter sized sheet. It’s hanging above my desk and I look at it weekly because that’s what I’m looking for.

I keep pen/paper near me at all times. I’m always jotting down interesting tidbits and lines. I have a box full of scrap paper, index cards, post-its and newspaper/magazine articles that have ideas scrawled on them. I have a white board by my bedroom door and if I think of something, hear something, I write it down. Quotes, story ideas, life lessons.

At the top of the board: Everyday is the first day of the rest of your life.


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