Where do you get your inspiration? For me, it can something as simple as a “what if” question to change a story that’s already been written. OR, my mind thinks about an update.
As a mental exercise, I’ve done two updates. I’ve not written these down, and who knows if I’ll ever do them or not?
I’ve often wondered what the modern version of television’s Early Edition would be like today? That show ran from 1996-2000. The premise: divorced stock broker Gary Hobson gets tomorrow’s newspaper, in this case, The Chicago Sun Times, today. I loved that show, and often wondered how technology would change it. The last episode showed how Gary was chosen to receive the newspaper, and how he chose who would get the newspaper next.
But I don’t think it would be a newspaper today. I think it would be chirp of an app on his smart phone. His vision was always drawn to the story that needed to be changed, and he would change history, to avert disaster. He had many adventures during the four seasons that show ran. My favorite episode was the one in the first season, called “Faith.” A little girl who needed a heart transplant showed Gary how to have faith in something else other than what his tomorrow’s newspaper said.
And isn’t that just like us? We sometimes place our trust in things or people that will let us down. Gary’s newspaper said she was going to die.
But “fate” or “God” or whoever was behind the newspaper, we never did find out who, determined some surprises for Gary. I really liked that episode. If I wrote an update, I’d have a little girl tell an older and wiser Gary, or a younger woman, who found a strange smart phone in her purse one day – one that she came to rely on – that there’s something more than a phone to be relied on. And since I’m a follower of Jesus, I’d make Him behind the smart phone.
Another update I’d love to make: Taylor Caldwell’s The Listener, and No One Hears But Him. I read those as a teenager, and I was profoundly impacted by them. About six years ago, I re-read them. Their stories are timeless. It’s premise: a multi-millionaire has a strange square, box-like building constructed around a beautiful park in a large city. It’s always open. You can go in and talk to The Man Who Listens. And if you want to know, you can push a button, and a curtain slides away to reveal who it is.
I’m editing this previously published post because I forgot something. I forgot to say what I’d do to update Taylor Caldwell’s masterpieces. The strange box-like building is a type of the Holy of Holies, such as from Moses’ Tabernacle or Solomon’s Temple. Since that building was built of marble, it will stand the test of time.
The lives of the people who come to this building though, could be updated to reflect the technology we have today. Maybe instead of what’s on the wall behind the curtain, there could be a hologram of the same thing. Hmmm. I like that idea.
Where do you get your ideas? From television, like I did? Or a book? Or a magazine story, news story? Or fictionalizing incidents from real life, like Earl Hamner did with The Waltons, or I did with my Moments of Courage short stories here on this website?
Look around. Inspiration is everywhere.
Where DO you get your ideas from? Leave a comment and let me know.