I was stuck in traffic in downtown Atlanta when I noticed a group of skateboarders at a Marta station doing kickflips and grinding their boards on a rail. It was twilight, but the streetlights had yet to come on, and the lanky teenagers were cast in golden glow and shadow. One boy in slouchy jeans and an oversized hoodie popped his board up to a handrail, wobbled, and came crashing down on the pavement. Another boy offered him a hand up, patted him on the back, and they went back at it. Transfixed by the street ballet taking place outside of my car window, I jumped when a horn honked alerting me the light had changed. Days passed and I continued thinking about the grace of the street surfers. Over the next month I saw skateboarders on sidewalks, in parking lots, riding longboards down Peachtree Street, and I noticed the ‘No Skateboarding’ signs that must have always been present, but that I was just now noticing. The song ‘Sk8er Boi’ by Avril Lavigne was on the radio when I turned it on. The universe was prompting me to write about skateboarders.
Every day I walk by three to five great ideas. It’s my responsibility to be vulnerable and curious to what the universe has to offer. I carry a small notebook so when I’m presented with an idea or hear a turn of phrase that tickles my ear, I write it down immediately. I’ve learned to listen more than I talk. When I’m considerate and available, people share the most beautiful stories. We are all extraordinary. No one thinks or approaches the world exactly like we do; monopolize on this. Visit art galleries and historical museums. The idea of my current work in progress, Daufuskie, collided with me at the Coastal Discovery Museum while on vacationing on Hilton Head Island seven years ago. The idea nipped at my heels until I gave in and wrote a loose outline, now I’m writing the crummy first draft, which I plan to rewrite, edit, and re-edit into a middle grade novel. Put away your computer and walk in the woods. When you walk in nature your mind calms and reconnects with your reptilian brain. As you exercise your cardiac output is increased, more oxygen is pumped to your brain, more oxygen to your brain primes it for fresh ideas; and ideas are everywhere.