I was inspired when I opened The Morning Call today and read about a woman who battled oral cancer and wrote a book to help families faced with cancer. What a way to be a victor. Every time I open a newspaper I think of the many good ideas and good feelings I get from reading stories like that. A few weeks ago I was touched when I read a story about the cantankerous Andy Rooney who wonders why he would retire–even though he is 91–he grouchily inquired: “retire from what, life?”
When Nancy Coco, director of The Lehigh Valley Writing Project invited me to share where my ideas for writing come from at Lehigh Valley Writing Project’s “Best Practices” Conference that will be held tomorrow in Fogelsville, I was forced to consider where they do indeed, come from. The short answer: the newspaper. The long answer: everywhere. People, places, things, the weather, an attitude, books, colors, even my dog.
I struggled to put together a presentation because I don’t consider myself much of a writer. Gail Collins is a wonderful writer. I’m a speech professor who writes about speaking. Sometimes I joke that if I could orally interpret my books they would sell better. I’m only half-joking. So, I made a partial PowerPoint and I hope I inspire my audience with some of the ways I have come up with book projects. One of my former students emailed me to say she will be in my session. She’s all grown up, married and a teacher now. Talk about pressure. Now, there’s a plot idea….