I think I come up with ideas for writing and short stories in the strangest ways. More often then not, I’ll be doing some mundane chore, like washing the dishes, and suddenly I’ll get my “story face,” and then my siblings and my parents know not to bother me because I’ll be shut away in my room with my notebook and computer. I usually free write a story idea by hand in my notebook and then if I like it enough, I’ll type it out.
When I’m at school, there’s a long driveway I have to walk up and down to get to and from the stables after my horseback riding class. I got my most recent story idea while I was walking back to my dorm near the end of the semester. I got another idea just this afternoon when I was walking my cocker spaniel on this frozen-over field at the end of my street. The outer suburbs of Philadelphia is probably the best place to live and write. We have very intense seasonal changes, extremely cold winters, extremely hot summers, and snow. I love the winter and fall months because of how colorful it gets and how the people look.
My college offers a creative writing grant that I’m planning to take advantage of this summer, where I could go anywhere I want to and write. It’s a way of immersing oneself into the setting and culture of stories. I really would like to travel to the West Coast, probably Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, or Idaho and stay on a dude ranch to write about life in the mountain country and horse people. Or maybe if I want to do something cheaper I’ll go to Port Carbon, a small old coal country in central Pennsylvania to stay with my grandparents and write about life and setting there. My grandparents have lived in the same house for almost sixty years and have all kinds of stories they can tell me about that I could fictionalize. I’m very excited to gather more information about my writing ideas and see what I can do with my creative writing major.