Lovely + dark and deep = mystery

One of the most asked questions of writers is where we get our ideas.  For me, the answer is simple.  Whatever I see is fair game.   But I tend to see things in a different light.  I’ve been told I have a fertile imagination; this is a gross understatement.  Part of a writer’s craft is to spin what they observe into stories.

Here’s an example:  In his poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” Robert Frost penned the line “The woods are lovely, dark and deep.”  In a simple sentence he created a powerful image.  With his choice of adjectives, the line allows me to see the beauty and also the peril of woods in general.   There are more possibilities to the meaning but I’m not here to critique Frost’s poetry, merely to suggest how ideas may form.

Now insert me, with my active imagination fueled by decades of reading, into a setting.  Let’s say I’m sitting on a dock, on a small lake, and across the lake from me is a large, wooded area.  Uh oh.  The trance-like look comes over me, the mind is whirling, the rest of the world takes a backseat while my thoughts hum.

What if a small group of religious men became disenchanted with their religion?  What if they left their country of origin and created their own religious sect?  What if they built their own small, successful community and cohabited peacefully for fifty years?  What if they disappeared without a trace?

So, what if?  Well, their once proud compound of buildings falls into disarray.  The land reclaims itself.  The decaying group of buildings becomes overrun with an assortment of growth.  The once-cleared wooded area seeks revenge.

Lovely + dark and deep = mystery.

Welcome to my blog.  Follow me on my journey to tell the story of The Quarry’s Child.


About thequarryschild

A self-described forensic junkie, Beth Anderson spends her days shaping young minds to ask critical questions and wonder “whodunit.” Beth resides in the Capital District of New York and spends her free time reading and solving the great mysteries. Her love of swimming, tennis and sports provides the basis for one of the lead characters in her new book The Quarry’s Child. Beth is one of the founding members of the Upper Hudson Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime (aka Mavens of Mayhem), a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, a survivor of a visit to an active aircraft carrier while it was at sea, and a published poet in Soundings, a literary journal. Beth continues to instill a love for mystery fiction in her students as she has for over twenty years. Photo credit: Quinn Mulvey
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5 Responses to Lovely + dark and deep = mystery

  1. Mike Tebbano says:

    welcome to the world of blogging in the virtual world. I love your entry about mystery and the powerful language of writers such as Frost. His opening line in Stopping By Woods has always intrigued me as well. Your “what if” propositions are interesting entries into the world of creative writing and mystery.

    Beth, I am so proud of all you are doing merging 21st Century thinking in your work as a consummate teacher. I am currently attending an international conference on the topic in Philadelphia, and just finished a session on how we can enthuse teachers to do just what you are modeling. Thank you for your creative and inspiring leadership.
    mike tebbano

  2. Jill says:

    Good luck with your new blog, Beth, and with “The Quarry’s Child.” The premise already has me intrigued! WAY TO GO!

  3. Thanks, Boss. I have lots to learn but am happy to open the doors to new methods.

  4. Sass LInde says:

    Love it hon. You are on your way. I love the title too. 🙂 Love you–

  5. terri goldrich says:

    Next time put the Dove in the freezer! Much to say–this is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

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