What is Your Writing Inspiration?
Ever since, I have been passionate about writing. As a mom, I didn’t always have the time to write—I barely squeezed in laundry, much less reading, at some points. But when I found myself with more time on my hands, I started putting pen to paper and let my imagination run wild.
I get inspired from just about anything. I can see a stranger on the street and make up a whole story about him—complete with why he is standing on that corner at that moment, and where he’s going next.
Good books, movies, and dreams give me tons of inspiration, too.
Aftermath really evolved after I developed the character of Ben Parker. About five years ago, I had a very vivid dream (aka, nightmare) of a train derailment. Railcars tumbled off a ridge, landing on top of each other in a ravine. There was a young man on the train that was untouched by the accident. Once everything settled, he pulled victims from the crash site and escorted them to the afterworld. This fascinated me and I started writing short stories about a group of people that came to earth disguised as humans to help them through tragedy, or guide them to better decisions in their life. Eventually, Ben’s character came to life—along with the rest of the afterworld agents.
Of course, there had to be a reason Ben came here and what better reason than looking for his loved ones?
I was out of breath and at a loss for words by the time I reached them.
“Sorry,” I squeaked out between deep inhales. I hadn’t run that fast since coach had us doing sprints last season. Guess I need to start working out more.
Prince Charming never looked up, but said, “No problem.” He was kneeling, and with both hands, he was scratching Chester’s ears. Chester was in heaven, wagging his tail uncontrollably. It was as if they were long lost buddies.
“Hey, my dog likes you,” I managed to say. I didn’t know what was more embarrassing—my inability to control my dog or the fact that I was so out of shape. Either way, I probably looked ridiculous.
“Yeah, I see that,” he said.
“Ahhh… sorry…” I mumbled. “He’s not usually like that.”
There was an awkward moment of silence before he spoke. “He usually doesn’t like people? Or he usually doesn’t charge toward them?” I saw his smirk, though he still didn’t look up at me. He was focused on Chester who was now licking him in the face.
I was too nervous to laugh. That was a pretty stupid thing for me to say. “Ah, both.”
“Really? Seems pretty nice to me,” he answered still petting Chester. I couldn’t believe what an attention seeker my pup turned out to be.
I reached for Chester’s leash on the ground and inhaled deeply. “He’s usually more protective… More standoff-ish, I guess.” Chester proved me wrong. “Chester, stop.” I tried to sound firm, and tugged on his leash. “Come here.”
“It’s okay,” Prince Charming said and stood up. He was suddenly looking directly at me.
My chest ached. His brown eyes were focused on mine.
“Maybe he just likes me,” he said and flashed me a grin.
My palms began to sweat and I could feel my heart beating faster. He was the most beautiful boy I had ever seen. Say something! I lost my train of thought. “Yeah… I guess.”
I sounded stupid. I looked stupid. What was I even wearing?
“Well,” he said. Could the moment could be any more awkward?
“Yeah, sorry… again…. I’ll get him outa here.” I tugged on Chester’s leash, but he was firmly planted on his butt.
Prince Charming nodded. The silence was uncomfortable.
I’m not sure where I got the confidence, but finally said, “My name’s Emma.”
“Nice to meet you, Emma. I’m Ben.” He smiled.
I felt a tingle in the pit of my stomach and found myself grinning in return.
Ben kicked the soccer ball up and caught it with one hand. “You play? Or just lounge in the goal?”
“Yeah… I mean, I play.”
“Nice,” he answered.
My cheeks burned and I could tell I was turning red.
“Maybe I’ll see you around, then.” He turned to walk away.
Chester sat obediently by my side. “You were pretty friendly with him,” I said and chuckled. Prince Charming had a name.