In 2007 I had a strange dream:
I was a child again in our old family home in the countryside. I was looking for a wooden box that had been hidden there. I didn’t know what was in it but I knew I had to find it. I needed to discover its secret – what was inside it?
I had a picture in my mind – the box was wooden, painted black and had some sort of pattern on it.
I searched the house all over but couldn’t find it.
The dream stayed with me for a long time but I never figured out what the relevance was.
Fast forward to 2008:
I am lying on the floor, crying. My life is going nowhere. I am stuck. Confused. I beg God to help me.
After an hour or so, I sit up, exhausted and dazed.
I look vacantly around the room and notice an old box under my bed. I pull it out and open it up.
It contains all my notes, poems, children’s book ideas and illustrations. Things I had pushed under my bed and out of my life a long time ago.
I gasp. The box is wooden…and black…and has a gold pattern stencilled on it.
I am writing again.
Whenever I have an idea – an unusual name for a character, or a random sentence or paragraph that appears out of nowhere – I scribble it down on a piece of paper.
Then I carefully place the paper in the magic box under my bed.