Sitting across from me at the kitchen table, five-year old Annalisa gently placed her hand on my forehead and pushed it away from my search for the Thomas Kinkade puzzle piece. “Nana, please, you are in my thinking space.” Quick, alert and gifted with spatial intelligence, Annalisa was assembling the only slightly contrasting sky at a two or three-to one pace while I struggled to put the chimney of the garden cottage together. Hovering over the puzzle, I had encroached on her “thinking space.”
I love the concept of a “thinking space”. Out of that space come the thoughts that lead to action. No action occurs that one doesn’t first see themselves doing it. Like writing–one must see themselves writing before they will do so. Out of the thinking space come the ideas that produce the story.
Louis L’Amour was often asked “Where do you get your ideas?” He replied, “If a person does not have ideas, he had better not even think of becoming a writer. But ideas are everywhere. There are enough in the daily newspaper to keep us writing for years. Ideas are all about us, in the people we meet, the way we live, the way we travel, and how we think about people. It’s important that we are writing about people. Ideas are important only as they affect people. And we are writing about emotion. A few people reason, but all people feel.” Education of a Wandering Man, Bantam Books, 1989, p. 85.
Ideas are born in our thinking space. For six years I traveled the panhandle of Texas as an educational consultant with Region XVI Education Service Center in Amarillo. The panhandle is a little less than 26,000 square miles so it was not unusual to travel 700 miles a week going to various rural schools. Ideas that began during that travel time were often not completed when I arrived in the driveway of my home, so I would remain in my car until they were–pondering in my thinking space until one of the kids interrupted my reverie with, “MOM, I’m hungry!”. Oh, well, to my thinking space in the kitchen!