07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Friday, December 14, 2012

Badlands, Moon Rocks and a Heliport

I’ve been asked where I get my story ideas.  So I thought I’d take a moment and tell you about a recent idea I began working on.

My husband and I went for a drive to the Oregon Badlands east of Bend.  We parked and hiked through the cold desert air and found some spectacular rock formations.  It was pretty easy hiking so we stayed for a couple of hours checking the area out.  When we left we drove to the end of the road.  There was a locked gate and a No Trespassing sign.  A blue and white sign identified this property as the Moon Rock Mine.  From what I saw through the gate, it looked like an abandoned mine.  No one in the work yard, and very little equipment.

After that, we decided to follow a rough dirt road with our van.  On the trail head map it looked as if the road would end at the beginning of a dry river canyon.  The Native Americans used to camp along this river when water flowed in it.  There are Native American drawings on the rocks by the river.  The road was too rough and we had to turn our van around.  We had climbed quite a bit higher than the desert floor.

We stopped and got out.  From our bird’s eye view, we could see the desert, rock formations and buttes spread out before us.  Hard as we tried, we couldn’t find the Moon Rock Mine from our vantage point.  We did spot a heliport, and in another part of the desert a landing strip with a couple of out buildings. Neither of these seemed appropriate in the desert. And again, they appeared to be deserted except for wind socks blowing in the wind.

So then the “What Ifs?” began.
What if the Moon Rock Mine is excavating real moon rocks or meteorites?
What if a UFO crashed landed there?
What if there were survivors?
What if they built a whole underground city?
What if the heliport is there to bring in scientists?
And what about the air strip?
What if a pilot crash-lands on the air strip and discovers the entrance to the underground city?
What if the Native American drawings are actually drawings from beings that were on the space ship when it crashed?

And the what ifs go on and on!

Do you have a story idea?”  Where did it come from?


Sarah Raplee said...

Great post!

A cave under a tree gave me the idea for a scene in BLINDSIGHT.

Losing the sight in one eye gave me the idea for a blind heroine.

A news story about a teenaged girl with a spotless record who committed murder made me ask the premise question for LOVE UNLEASHED: What would happen if a very good girl did one very, very bad thing?

I guess our ideas come from everywhere. :)

Paty Jager said...

This is how all great writers come up with their stories. What if? Can't wait to see what you do with this.

I have a lot of story ideas that come from things I've seen.

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Diana,

I'm still working on the series that came to me in vivid dreams. That, however, was an over-arcing story line with individual story lines for each of the main characters. I use experiences from my own life or that of friends to build the story and then there are those scenes that just happen. I'm typing along and my fingers take on a life of their own.

Diana Mcc. said...

Sarah, Paty and Judith,

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Holidays!


Melia Alexander said...

Hi Diana!

Great post! For me, sometimes it's as simple as someone saying something that sparks an idea for a story. I guess as writers, we're surrounded by inspiration, huh?