Imagination Gone Wild by Nancy J. Farrier



There are times when having a writer’s overactive imagination can give you so many possibilities for a story idea that you don’t know where to start. Seeing something unique, or even ordinary, can set off a chain of ideas humming with potential. Every time you see or experience that trigger, the concept becomes fresh again.


For me, one of those stimuli happens on my morning walks. I have mentioned before that I walk an old road that loops through the desert hills. The trail is remote and can’t truly be called a road. There are no houses or people, just rocks cacti and plenty of wildlife. Access with a vehicle would be difficult.


Along one stretch of this trail, are several mounds like the one pictured above. I would say there are at least a dozen of these mounds. They are grave-shaped and not fresh. They aren’t a natural occurrence either. Every time I pass by, I wonder what made them and what is underneath those piled up rocks and dirt.


Because they are older and are in a remote area, I think about settlers heading west. I’m not sure that would be logical for them to traverse this area, but I can almost hear the thud of hooves and the creak of a wagon. I see the sway of the canvas. Hear the cries of little ones. See the driver, his back bowed, shirt sweat-soaked as he sits on the narrow wooden seat holding the reins, dreading the death and burial of another member of his family. I picture this scene for a historical book.


I also love suspense and thrillers so I sometimes envision a more horrific scene. Once again, the area would not be easily accessed by any vehicle. Instead, I think of a murderer, urging his horse to climb the rocky trail. Stones rattle back down in the dark of the night as he attempt to hide his crime. A blanket-wrapped body slung behind the saddle is being taken to a place where he can bury the person without anyone knowing. I hear the labored breath of the horse. See the moonlight reflected in the canteen as the murderer takes a drink before beginning the process of covering the body with dirt and rock. Maybe hear a curse as he comes too close to a cactus in the dark and gets some spines in his hand. Hmmm. A historical suspense has some appeal.


Because this land is close to, or on, the Apache reservation, there is the thought that this could be a burial place long abandoned. Or, perhaps, after the advent of machinery, the trail was being readied to become a road and some sort of heavy equipment was used to clear the way, making the small mounds out of the debris.


I will probably never know what caused these mysterious grave-shaped mounds. I do know that every time I see them, I will think about story potential. Maybe someday I will write the  book.

About Nancy J. Farrier

Nancy J Farrier is an award-winning author who lives in Southern Arizona in the Sonoran Desert. She loves the Southwest with its interesting historical past. When Nancy isn't writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website:
This entry was posted in Nancy J. Farrier and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.