This year, May beats March as my least favorite month. Maybe the long, cold spring has irritated me. Or the school year has worn out its welcome, but I am more than ready to skip May and plunge into June.
But for those of you who still like May, here are some suggestion for using it as writing inspiration.
Mother’s Day: As I stated last year, this holiday is tailor-made for exploring relationships between female relatives or women who are like mothers and daughters to each other.
Memorial Day: This is another holiday which lead to an examination of family relationships. Your focus can be on those relatives who have served our country or any family members who have passed away. Last Memorial Day weekend, my kids and I traveled with my parents to West Virginia to lay flowers on the graves of my grandparents, great-granparents, and great-great grandparents. West Virginia is the “Old Country” for my family and I was so pleased to be able to share this family history with my kids.
I can see short story set at a cemetery where relatives who are estranged are laying flowers on the tombstones. In the process, they talk and become reconciled, burying their antagonism.
Graduation from high school or college: As a member of the high school band, I attended more graduation ceremonies than is healthy for one individual to endure. But being an observer, rather than a participant, in the ceremony gave me a great position to people watch. I can develop a story along those ones, where the main character, sitting with the band, makes some discoveries about fellow classmates and their families.
Of course, graduation ceremonies are the perfect way to kick off or end a story about the students who are receiving their diplomas. Since the ceremony is usually serious, writing about one where everything goes wrong would be fun. A thunderstorm threatened my high school graduation, and as the speakers kept talking, the entire student body and crowd in the football stadium watched as the black clouds piled up to the west.
Last Day of School: This day has enormous writing inspiration for comedy with everyone from teachers to kids just marking time until dismissal. My kids’s school has a Field Day during the last week, so combining an event like that with the last day provides loads of opportunities for comic complications.
Gardening: With the weather getting warmer, people can resume their outdoor hobbies, and I thought I would mention two my family enjoys. My husband gardens, planting both ornamental plants and vegetables and fruits. Gardening can be the setting for the renewal of relationships or some quality within the main character. The hard work can be a metaphor for other types of labor in a character’s life. Or I can look on the lighter side. Maybe a husband, recently retired, wants to learn about gardening from his wife, who finds he’s more of a hindrance than a help.
Fishing: My kids have recently taken up fishing for a 4-H project. I have no interested in fishing, but when I accompany my husband and kids on a fishing outing, I have an opportunity to make observations, such as, no matter how hard an angler works, there is no guarantee he will catch anything. Also, fishing is a sport of perseverance and patience. Also, if your mom has never unhooked a fish, don’t leave her alone with the kids as they are fishing. (I’m not sure I can use this as a metaphor in a story, but it’s a valuable fishing lesson.)
How does May provide you with writing inspiration?