I rarely get inspiration for full stories all in one fell swoop. Most of the time I just get an idea for a scene. Sometimes it’s a scene for which there is no story yet.

How gathering rose hips led to an idea for a scene of a story.
How gathering rose hips led to an idea for a scene of a story.

Yesterday as I gathered rose hips from the short bushes on one of the logging roads at Wild Ozark, a thought occurred to me.

And that’s how it always begins. Just a thought.

This event’s thought had to do with mis-identification. What if someone gathered a berry that *wasn’t* a rose hip.

Which led to a different thought.

What if someone purposefully added the wrong berries?

And of course that went somewhere too.

Could the protagonist of this story successfully use the wrong berries along with the rose hips to disable her captors?

And so then that led to a little research. How would the poison of this berry affect a person? How many would it take?

The *wrong berry* I had in mind was Doll’s Eyes, or White Baneberry. In appearance they’re glaringly different from each other. A rose hip is bright red. The baneberry is bright white. Obvious.

But there’s a red variety of this particular berry. It doesn’t grow here naturally, but a friend just sent a photo of one she’d seen in Wyoming. So there’s a way it could just happen to be present, if someone had sent the character in this scene some berries previously from a trip out west. Of course my character would be a plant person, always keen for seeds of interesting plants.

So, I guess you can see now how a sprig of an idea can spring into a whole scene.

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