Updated: May 23, 2018
Elizabeth Gilbert calls it big magic when an idea comes to her for a story. She imagines the story out there in the universe looking for its writer. And if a writer is receptive and ready with pen in hand, the story is born. My experience is a little different. It feels to me like different parts coming together. It starts with an image, pulls in a memory, and then before I know it I'm on the computer researching newts. Not all salamanders are newts, but all newts are salamanders. That's the kind of thing you discover, along with the kind of newt that is local to Vancouver Island. The rough-backed newt.