I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, November 26, 2010

All Roads Lead to Prose

Late last summer I took a road trip. I had absolutely no agenda or destination in mind. I packed a bag, pointed my car north and drove. I saw seven states in three days. It was magnificent. I drank sweet tea from a mason jar on a front porch with mountain folks in Tennessee, picked apples right off the tree in North Carolina, and visited a coal mine in Kentucky.

I finally began my southern trek back to central Florida. As the sun set over the marshes of southern coastal Georgia, the steam from a paper mill caught my eye. A stark contrast, or even an eye sore, compared to the beauty of the natural marshland.

I'd seen the mill hundreds of times. I'd driven that stretch of interstate more times than I care to remember. But suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, I was hit right smack between the eyes. Not with a floating pine log--with an idea. My mind began to race and play the "what if" game.

By the time I looked away from the mill--and back onto the road--I'd conjured up a great suspense novel idea. I pondered a paper mill that contracted with the military to conduct a top secret research project. Subliminal messages were being placed in the paper and sent to millions of people. For seemingly no reason, people were jumping off roofs and killing total strangers.

A great suspense novel, right? Well, perhaps not. But the point is, I was hit with an idea just by glancing at a paper mill. Right in the middle of my life. I didn't go to some think tank or attend a brainstorming workshop. I just lived my life and let my mind take me where it wanted.

So can you. Every road you take leads somewhere. Every person you meet and everything your eye beholds leads to a story, to a potential blockbuster novel. Take that road and allow it to lead you wherever it will. The story you create will be as unique and exciting as you are!

Taking time to be thankful:
When all is said and done, I'm grateful that I don't have to wait until Thanksgiving Day to give thanks for my many blessings since, after all, that's 364 days away from today. May the Lord grant you all the many blessings He has for you during the holiday season!

Reba J. Hoffman

The MBT Ponderers have put together a Thankful Basket. If you’d like to have a chance to win our basket of goodies, leave a comment during the month of November. Share a thought about a blog post or tell us what you’re thankful for!


  1. I had a "what if" moment walking out of a bank . . .it's a potential novel idea now!! Still pondering it.

  2. Truly,Beth. Everything in life can be used! You really don't have to go looking for it. It comes to you!

  3. I'm guilty of wanting to use everything I hear from people's hobbies, jobs, illnesses, circumstances. I look at events and ponder how to use it in a story. Thanks for the great post, Reba!

  4. Reebs!
    Great post. I love how God can use any moment or situation (like just passing by scenery) to use us to create a story that will have an impact on others. Thanks!

  5. Great post. I keep a journal next to my bed because I always seem to get "what if" ideas right before I fall asleep!

  6. "What if" moments happen all the time. Mentally I take my characters through a whole new set of problems from something I heard in the news, or read in a book, or, like you, something I see along the road. It becomes an effort in creativity and stretches our thinking.
    Great post as always Reebs!

  7. Great post, Reebs! I had a "What if?" moment by taking out the trash. If I wrote suspense, it would be an intriguing novel.

  8. Oh Reebs, I totally saw it all! You're such a poet. What wonderful suggestions you always have for us. Thanks for sharing the things that seem so common to you, because sometimes they're revolutionary to others :)

  9. My "what if's" get carried away. I think them about almost everything! I've too many to keep up with. Sometimes I write them down, sometimes I don't. Then a year or so later I'll find it and be like, "when did I write this and why?" My mom has always said "Girl, you are something with your head always in the clouds". I'm 30 now, and she still comments about my constant daydreaming. I can't help it...I'm a dreamer.

  10. Great post! I love it when God sends these little blessing our way. And only a twisted mind like yours and mine could look at a paper mill and have people jumping off roofs and killing people. You go, Girl!