Where do fiction writers get their ideas?

People often ask me where I get the ideas for my stories. In fact, the members of my church book club asked me that question the other day. There’s an interesting story behind “Initiation,” my short story that has just been published in Vermont Literary Review. VLR1A few years ago on a visit to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to spend the holidays with my parents, my mother and I went to the mall to Christmas shop. The list of gifts for my niece and nephew was so long that our backs were hurting from carrying around the shopping bags. My solution was to periodically drop the bags into the trunk of my car, which was on the roof of the parking garage. You can guess what happened. After the last trip to the car, while my mother and I continued shopping, someone took a crow bar to pop the trunk open and stole everything: coats, toys, shoes. My mother and I were in tears. Of course, the items were never recovered.

A few months later I thought about fictionalizing the event. I asked myself what would happen if a mother and daughter had their Christmas gifts stolen from the trunk of the car at the mall, discovered who the thieves were, but then realized that if they revealed who the thieves were, mother and daughter would lose out on something they both desperately wanted. That’s the story behind “Initiation.”

 

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About lisabraxton

Lisa Braxton, a native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University and her Master of Science degree in Journalism at Northwestern University. She is the immediate past president of the Women’s National Book Association/Boston Chapter and an Emmy-nominated journalist. She is a former television news anchor and reporter and spent her television career at stations in Champaign, Illinois, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and Hartford, Connecticut. She is also a former newspaper reporter and radio reporter. She currently lives in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Lisa has been published in numerous literary journals, including Snake Nation Review, Foliate Oak, and Meetinghouse: A Journal of New England Fiction, Clockhouse Review, and Literary Brushstrokes.
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