As an author, I’m often asked where I get ideas for stories. So I thought I’d share how one idea started and see if you’d like to help…
It all began with a certain health-related crisis that landed everyone at home, doing school and uni and work from our various desks and online spaces. All my peaceful, quiet writing time was swallowed up like the slops at the bottom of a pig pail and I was left with scraps and muddy footprints (the second part quite literally).
So, for sanity’s sake I pulled out my crocheting hook and decided to make something. And here’s what I ended up with. (You can find the pattern I used here.)
The idea was to crochet some little animals and post them to my friends as funny little gifts while we’re all stuck inside. But This Little Piggy ended up a lot larger than I expected and for a while just sat on my bookshelf (up there next to my writing craft books) waiting for me to think of who to post him to.
And then a cute little picture of a chubby little foot popped up on my Facebook feed, playing on the traditional rhyme of ‘this little piggy went to market, and this little piggy stayed home’. I had a chuckle, clicked ‘Like’ – yes, we should all be ‘staying at home’ I thought – and kept scrolling.
But the other night I couldn’t sleep. My idea brain was wide awake and working. It was knotting together links and connections and trying out possible stories. I got to thinking about This Little Piggy and what he’d be doing if he was ‘staying at home’ anywhere but here.
Where could he go? What could he do? Could I send This Little Piggy on a reconnaissance tour to research how other families are doing their time at home? What stories are they reading? What special things are they doing? What are the things they’ll never forget about these times stuck together in-side?
And that’s where this idea’s up to.
It’s obviously not finished yet. It’ll need a lot more work. But for me, stories start with questions. And maybe – just maybe- there’s a story here.
A story about This Little Piggy and you and me, and all our adventures staying at home!
So, starting next week, I’m posting This Little Piggy off to do some research. He’ll have a comfy travel sack and his very own travel diary. I’ll pop him in the mail and we’ll see where he’ll go. Which stories will he have read to him? What games will he play? What stay-at-home feasts will he watch?
I’m curious to see where this idea of mine goes.
AND if you’d like to join in and invite This Little Piggy to visit your family, just send me a message via my contact form and I’ll see if we can include your place in his travel itinerary! (But make sure you check The Fine Print below first.)
The Fine Print - If you and your family would like to be part of This Little Piggy’s travel adventures you'll need to make sure you are able to do ALL of following: a) provide me with your postal address b) email me a photo of Piggy at your home that I can use on social media c) fill out Piggy’s travel diary and read him a story and d) pay for and post Piggy to his next destination within a week of receiving him.