Beachcombing for Ideas

I took a long walk on the beach this morning with a friend. I know she often walks the beach combing the shore for ideas. I assumed we’d talk about our projects but we had so much catching up to do.

Of course, since I publish mostly fiction, the beach was a great place to find ideas. I wasn’t aware of the amenities this beach had to offer – a concession stand and a café, chair and umbrella rentals, a clean and stocked restroom. There’s a regional article angle since it’s an out-of-the way option for locals.

To reach the beach we walked a trail and then a boardwalk through the mangroves. I’ve seen plenty of anhinga drying themselves before but never so close – the wet feathers looked like fur! That’s an angle for younger readers – and part of curriculum here.

Once we were on the beach, walking ad talking, I had to stoop three times for shells. I have plenty of shells – mostly one have a bivalve shell – so I rarely stop for more. But these were univalve shells, two conch and one cone, they were fully intact. That’s rare. I have pieces of these sorts of shells but few that are unbroken and unblemished. All three were perfect and intriguing.

Now I can’t help wondering about these items and thinking more and more about an old story idea that includes magic. I wonder if my character ever sees the shore. Do they have these types of shells in her world? Might these items hold magical potions or powers? How will they weave their way into that story? So, from a walk on he beach, I came away with two article sparks and items that will inspire a longer piece.

Though we didn’t talk shop, I was making progress with my writing just the same.

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