Despite all the physical things going on in my life right now, my mind is busy working on other “stuff.” I have written seven books since retiring, averaging about one per year. That pace came to a screeching halt this past 12 months. I simply ran out of gas—there were no ideas that motivated me to rev up the keyboard and start pecking away. But now, finally, the seedling of an idea has “come to me” and I have been bouncing it around in my brain in an attempt to grow a good story out of it.
I have found that story ideas can come at any time and from any source. The Pope’s Stone, my first book, was based on the quick mention of an incident that took place during the first stage of construction of the Washington Monument. It was buried in some article I was reading in a magazine. The concept behind my next novel, Dead Letter, came from a brief segment of one of those obscure cable channel shows, this one featuring a back-office tour of the Smithsonian.
So what’s the latest item that’s caught my attention? It’s something that fell into my lap after scrolling around Ancestry.com. I have already posted it twice here on my blog:
The guy on the left is my 3rd cousin a gazillion times removed. His name is Isaac. To his right is me at about the same age. Isaac died in 1955. He was in his 70’s; I was ten. We never met. He lived in Australia. I live in the USA. The uncanny similarities in our appearance, down to the bowtie, has me intrigued. Are we doubles? Is this a demonstration of DNA coincidentally falling into the same pattern? All I have is this picture. Are there other similarities about the two of us? Do we share personality traits? Are our voices identical? Did he have the same physicality as I have? Could I be his reincarnation?
It’s that last question that has me most wondering….and if reincarnation does happen, what kind of story could evolve out of this relationship? That’s the seedling I have chosen to grow. Hopefully, by this time next year it will have taken root, spread its leaves and become my fourth novel. No, it’s not that easy of a process, but the fun has begun.
I am curious about reincarnation and I have begun researching the topic. I don’t know whether or not I believe in it, but it certainly is an interesting concept. I’d like to do an informal survey. If you think reincarnation is a possibility, leave me like or a comment if you have more to say. In the meantime, I’ll go throw some Miracle Grow on my seedling.