It’s funny how little things influenced you throughout your formative years. Yes, the big, the traumatic, and the bad things did. But have you ever thought of how many times something insignificant took place in your life that effects you still today?
I was driving home from my store, Hiram Bookstore, the other day and it suddenly dawned on me; I’m an author. Well yes, I knew that, but how did I become one? For some reason, the game “Clue” came to mind.
Clue, spelled Cluedo outside the United States, is a popular murder-mystery board game. Invented in 1944 by Anthony E. Pratt, an English solicitor’s clerk, he originally called the game “Murder!” The game was intended to fill the long hours spent in the underground bunkers while above ground World War II raged in the air over London. The object of the game is for the players to strategically move around the game board, a mansion, and collect six clues from which they could deduce who the murderer was and how and where the crime took place. (Mr. Mustard in the Library with a lampstand.) Little did I know how much playing that game impacted my analytical mind and still does to this day.
Another game came to mind, “Authors.” Yes, there was actually a game called “Authors.” In this card game, invented by G. M. Whipple and A. A. Smith in 1861, the players tried to match notable authors with their books. The works of Louisa May Alcott, James Fenimore Cooper and Mark Twain, to name a few, became the heroes of my young life.
There were two other games which completed those formative years; Monopoly and Chess. Both involved strategy and required long-range planning. Combine the four games and you have either an ax murderer, or a detective. Add the love for coffee and words and you have an author.
So what’s in your childhood past which you can draw upon for inspiration? Dolls? Sports? A favorite movie? If it’s not too painful, try rooting around in the attic of your mind. Dust off the old toys long forgotten and imagine yourself a child again. Climb back on that imaginative broom, your royal steed, and grab that cap gun and chase after those bad guys. Or pick up that ceramic head doll and step in front of an old mirror. Become the person you once were. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll find the author in you and your next novel . . .