Storystorm is a movement- yeah I think I could call it a movement- created by Tara Lazar in which writers take on the challenge of coming up with a picture book idea a day for the month of January. It’s a month of brainstorming for stories. Hence, Storystorm. The goal is to end the month with 30 new ideas to have in the holster.
Sounds like fun, so I’m going to try it. I don’t imagine I’ll find too many gems here, but I hope to mine for some coal that can be refined over time and polished into diamonds. I don’t know if gems come from coal, but it’s all rocks (are gems even rocks, actually? I could just look it up, but I’m not going to. I’m saving my effort for the actual ideas, not the metaphor about the ideas). And I’m going to share my ideas here, and hopefully turn this into a collaborative experience. I’ll throw out the initial impulse, and hopefully it’ll inspire something in someone else, and inspire something else in someone else and who knows how many different stories can be inspired from one seed. All I ask is you add something to the initial idea in the comments, show how you’re making it your own and taking it somewhere further than it was when you found it. Then I give you my blessing to take it.
So here we go:
There’s one theme- or maybe more than one theme but right now I’m focused one theme that always speaks to me. It’s about how we’re all connected. Despite all of our individual differences, we’re all people with the same basic build, all on this planet together. And two things brought this out of me today-
First, I was sent a manuscript to critique from another writer that spoke to this theme (at least it did to me, and that idea that stories speak to different people in different ways is exactly why I’m doing this thing here!). And I also found the live stream from the International Space Station that I left running next to me on my screen as I busied myself with other things.
If you ever need to be reminded how we’re all just parts of this bigger planet, that none of us are bigger or smaller than the other, then just watch our world spin from outer space.
So I was inspired with this thought about the oceans. There are a few in the world, but when you see it from space, there’s really only one. All the water is the same. Every ocean flows through the other. But we have this idea that there are five oceans. Even the lakes that are landlocked evaporate into the clouds and could end up precipitating in these oceans- No, I went too far. That has nothing to do with this… Or maybe it does for someone else. Anyway, I feel like there’s a story there. I don’t have a plot or characters yet. I’m not sure if the five oceans aren’t the characters themselves. Do they think one is better than the other? Are they territorial? “Keep your whale out of my water!” Or maybe it’s not about the oceans at all. Maybe it’s about the landmasses. They feel like they’re so different from each other with all this water between them, when really, deep down they all come from the same place. I think there’s something here. I don’t know, but I think. Or I’ll continue to think about it, at least.