When I saw the picture of this antique wardrobe posted by one of my many Iowa friends on Facebook (from Broad Street Market at Carter Station), I couldn’t get enough of seeing it. Each day at first, and then every few days, for what must have been two weeks, I would give it a look and simply enjoy its beauty. Soon I imagined that a character in one of my unpublished novels (the one I’m currently trying to find an agent to represent) who was a cabinet maker, had built it. The year was right. And then, one day, I saw clearly two little black boys with bright eyes peering out from the floor of the wardrobe.
In many of the author interviews I read, the interviewer asks the author where she gets her ideas. Authors seem not to like this question. I don’t blame them. I believe writers are always grateful for inspiration wherever it is found. There is no certainty for what will drill deep into the well of interest for any particular writer. Some ideas seem to keep growing. They make me think of Jack and the Beanstalk. What will I find at the top?
So I’m off searching materials about the underground railroad, contraband, Copperheads and the writings of women on the prairie during the Civil War. It’s so much fun. A finished short story with a working title “The Wardrobe” is hopefully in my future. Maybe soon, I’ll have a paragraph or two to share in the Writings section of this blog.