Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The sandbox: An unlikely source of inspiration

I had no idea when I took my son to the playground, or rather two playgrounds, on Saturday that I'd find inspiration for my writing. I write older YA books so hanging out at the sandbox and sliding board wasn't exactly the place I thought I'd be struck with an idea for one of my stories.

To avoid sounding like a lurker I won't go into too much detail of the conversations I couldn't help but overhear (hey, there was only one toddler swing and it was RIGHT next to a teenage boy and girl sitting on swings and talking and my kid REALLY loves that swing) or tell you how cute and funny I found it when two tween girls were dropped off followed by a tween boy (who was clearly one of their boyfriends) and then proceeded to play on the playground equipment and flirt like crazy. But I'm not ashamed to tell you I snuck a shot in while I was snapping pics of my son and nephew on the swings (YES, the couple or friends or whatever they were moved after we crashed in, followed by two other kids that didn't care that they were totally spoiling the moment)

Anyway I got this shot but it was way better in person but of course I couldn't take the picture normally because that would've made me look like all creepy and stuff. *Gasp* Taken from the proper angle it would've been an awesome book cover image!

How cute are they? My mind started racing with all sorts of ideas of what they were talking about, feeling, why they were there in the park under the tree (well, we know they were forced to retreat to the tree since all the screeching children encroached on their privacy).

Now please tell me I'm not the only crazy "adult" who gets hit with this sort of inspiration from being around real life young adults. Because apparently 8pm is the designated time for teens to overtake the playground near my sister's house. In the span of five minutes, I saw two teenage girls sit on a bench and start some serious conversation (tears and all), a flock of giggling girls attempt to take a photo of themselves on the slide, and one who thought swinging higher than any human being has ever gone would get the attention of the group of boys playing basketball.

In order to avoid being arrested or banned from the park I'll leave my camera at home, but I'm so bringing a notebook next time I take the boy to the playground. Anyone else have fun observations or conversations that have inspired your work?


Bethany Elizabeth said...

If you're creepy, I'm creepy too. :) I take pictures of flipping everybody. I've mastered the art of super stealth! Inspiration comes from the weirdest places, doesn't it?

Indigo said...

I tend to roll my eyes when people say, they have no inspiration on what to write. It's as simple as walking out the door of your house. Life is full of little moments that become, wonderful books. (Hugs)Indigo

Madeleine said...

You'd think I'd get tons from school, but I don't. I really try not to listen to a lot of conversations at school. One thing I'm glad YA books don't incorporate (often): The total vulgarity. Gross stuff. Everywhere.

And I'm only in Middle School. D:

However, I do find inspiration everywhere. Just not from a majority of the teens around me. Hopefully HS will be better. :D

Shannon O'Donnell said...

What an awesome treasure trove of ideas you've discovered! How cool! :-)

Nishant said...

I've mastered the art of super stealth! Inspiration comes from the weirdest places, doesn't it?
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