Sep 4, 2011


by Marsha Ward

Yesterday I enjoyed another holiday cookout held by my church congregation. Since I have a responsibility to record events in our church, I took several pictures (still in the camera, sorry) of the heavily laden food tables, the barbecues grilling the steaks, and the line of people extending from the food tables down the sidewalk and around the corner. When I had finished that task, I got in line.

Once I had made it through the long wait, got my food and water, and sat down to eat, I looked up, and guess what? The line was nearly as long as it had been when I joined it. Lots of people came.

Our church congregation isn't as numerous as the people who attended the barbecue. A lot of them were holiday campers, but not a few were neighborhood people who had been invited to come, people not of our religious faith. It was awesome!

Instead of what first pops into the LDS mind about hosting a community event, I want to liken this event and its numerous attendees to ideas. Curious folk ask where writers get their ideas for a story. Writers having a struggle wonder if they'll ever have a good idea again.

The truth is that ideas are everywhere around us. Once we use one up and carry out a project to its conclusion, if we search out a few resources, we will have an unending supply of ideas. A new story might be sparked by a magazine article, an online blog, or a news report. Sometimes a story may come from a blend of various resources, as we ask ourselves "What if?" A wonderful fount of ideas can come from the practice of people watching. And listening. Not to eavesdrop, necessarily, but to "get" the cadence of language patterns, phrases, and figures of speech.

Now let's ask the writers who come here: Where do you get your ideas?


  1. I get ideas from dreams, two different things that when put together make me say what if, daydreams, programs on TV, or on the computer.

  2. Pretty much anything seriously. The hard part is in our busy lives taking the time to hear the muse.

  3. Marsha,
    Even though I have yet to write the books, a number of ideas have come to my mind from obituaries. Some of them are so detailed, I think I know the deceased without ever having met them. People love to talk about their quirky relatives...especially after they are gone! hugs`


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