In The Woods

Writers are often asked where their ideas come from. It’s such a common question that many roll their eyes. I’ve talked about that before on this blog post. For me, it’s always been the ‘what if’ question. This weekend I went for a short walk by my home and realized a lot of ideas come from the woods. Mysterious little spots that make you wonder why, and what’s on the other side, and what happened. So in case you need some story inspiration, here are some photos from that walk, and what they made me wonder.


Where did these train tracks go? How far can I follow them? Back in the 1920s there used to be houses here. They were moved away but you can still come across odd little open spaces like this. Which then make me wonder, who lived here? Is anything of them still left? Could I find old dishes or tools…or bones?


Two trees thick with moss and licorice root, that look, on this drizzly day, like a gateway. What would happen if I walked through? Would I find some secret forested world? Did they border a footpath or a doorway? Did someone watch them grow and wonder where they would be when the trees were full-grown? Or did these take root on a nurse log, the carcass of a tree that fell and gave them the nutrients they needed to survive? That would explain these two being in a straight line. So is there an old tree under them? Did it come down in a windstorm now long forgotten and did those living in the old houses hear the tree come down?


What’s on the other side? If I sit here long enough will I see a bear? Or Bigfoot? Or some old hermit coming down for water? Someone that people no longer remember, who maybe disappeared years ago, someone who refused to go when the houses were moved? What secrets are over there, where I can’t go?


And finally, a question everyone who’s ever walked a path asks: what’s at the end? What will I find? What is out there, that I can’t yet see? What stories are waiting?