It Started With Receipt Tape

Pottery Barn. 2008. These aren’t the coordinates for some grand, historical moment.

Still, there was one very, very, small, really tiny drop of a moment that did happen in the Grand Lobby department of that year.

I was putting fall-themed picture inserts into our photo frame display and one of them featured a windmill. I paused. I still don’t know how it stole my imagination, but it did. What was inside the windmill? Who was the miller that worked there? That windmill had a story, and I could hear it if only I knew how to slip into its world.

Give your dreams some breathing room...

Throughout the rest of the year and into the next, the first story ideas for Kingdom of Ruins wrapped themselves around that windmill. Characters sidled up beside me while I helped customers pick out dishware and rugs. Receipt tape became my best friend. Whenever I had a chance, I unrolled a blank piece of receipt tape from the register, scribbled down my ideas, and stuffed it into my apron pocket. On one of them I drew the windmill.

That was 2008. It’s 2018. I’ve been a life-long believer in waiting. Give your dreams some breathing room. Take a small step, then another small step. It’s not so bad. One day you’ll think the journey was short. One day those flat, motionless windmills sketched on receipt tape will turn into the windmills of a far off country, waving in the wind, worked and loved by a heroine you know and trust.