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How Do I Get Ideas For Stories?

Camp Kickapoo was born one summer afternoon when I happened to glance out my back window.  There I saw a scene that I Lisa "showering" Amy will never forget.  My oldest daughter, Lisa, had lined up all the kids in the neighborhood and was spraying them down with a hose before they jumped into the pool.  She said she was “giving them a shower.”  I captured the scene with my handy camera.

This was the beginning spark of Camp Kickapoo.  But I needed a setting.  I thought about how much my kids enjoyed a good camping trip in the woods.

Kids camping

Finally, all good stories need a problem, or a villain of some sort.  I remembered all those spooky ghosts that ran around our neighborhood on Halloween.


It was then that Camp Kickapoo sprang to life.  The spunky character, Gina, would become the official director of the backyard camp.  All of the neighborhood kids would swim in the pool and get a shower with the garden hose.  They would camp out after dark in a big blue tent.  And they would be plagued by a pilfering ghost that roamed the woods nearby.

Yes, Camp Kickapoo is a book of fiction for the 8 – 12 age group, but it is based on my own children’s adventures, including trying to bake bread on a hot rock and digging a latrine in the woods.  Of course, a lot of fiction is pure imagination.  That’s why I threw in Ozzie the snake.  After all, what’s a camp without a good snake to terrify the girls?