We do not remember days; we remember moments. ~Cesare Pavese, Italian poet and novelist
One common question every writer receives is, Where do you get your ideas?
Now, some writers shrug that inquiry off, but I believe the seeker really wants to know.
Ideas are everywhere. It’s finding one big enough to carry an entire book that can be tricky.
Same goes for poems or songs or paintings.
Perhaps what the questioner is really asking is, Where did the idea for this book come from?
Take my debut novel, Unplayable Lie, for instance.
An “unplayable lie” is a golf term for those times when your ball can’t be hit back into play. Maybe you’re behind a huge tree, stuck in its roots; maybe you’re smack dab in a clump of tall grasses or a decorative patch of rosebushes.
There are rules for addressing the situation, but I won’t go into them here.
Because what’s more central to my post is, Where did the idea for Unplayable Lie arise?
Years ago, when my son Domer was just a wee lad, we were golfing at one of our local public courses. We’d completed the first hole and were about to tee off to the south on No. 2.
As he took a few practice drives, I happened to glance to our left, where there was a wide expanse of dense trees, probably to delineate the golf course from the field lying to its east.
And suddenly, an idea took hold. What if a golfer hit a ball into those woods and found a Bad Guy lurking there, instead of just the ball?
The idea wouldn’t go away. It demanded to be written.
So I did.
What made me think of all this is something I read in our local newspaper recently.
The course that sparked my idea will be closing at the end of this year, a national trend brought about by fewer and fewer people playing golf.
It makes me sad that golf is undergoing a decline in interest. I hope it’s temporary, and the sport will have a quick resurgence.
It also makes me sad this particular course is closing. It was convenient for Domer to play a round there when he came home from college or work, and the fees were reasonable, too.
But I’ll always be grateful the idea and the golf course converged that day, and my book was born.