The Inspiration for Lost and Found in Aspen

inspiration for lost and found in aspen

The inspiration for my forthcoming novel.

I’m excited to announce that I’m ready to debut my book, Lost in Found in Aspen. It’s taken nearly two years for me to write, rewrite, and revise––over and over again, while trying to balance the needs of my family. As any writer knows, there were plenty of good days and plenty of bad days, times when I thought I was almost done and times when I thought I would never finish. But of course, that’s all part of the process. I want to share with you how the idea for the story came about and how the journey reconnected me with a part of myself that had been long forgotten.

When I was a little girl, I loved playing pretend games. I would spend hours in the basement, creating lessons for my invisible students, grading make-believe papers, and using the chalkboard to teach my imaginary class. I also loved to play house and office, and one of my favorite games was taking trips around the world with my best friend. From the comfort of my house, we traveled everywhere. By the time I hit my teenage years, the games that had once swept me to faraway places ended––cold turkey. Sadly, the land of make believe was tucked away in the back of my mind, like an old suitcase accumulating dust in the attic.

When my good friend, Nicole, and I came up with an idea for a book, the creative side of my brain was finally reignited. Both of us had faced a fatal tragedy that had changed the course of our lives. Our experiences showed us how fragile life can be––how in one minute your entire world can turn upside down. And yet our pain had also taught us many great lessons. We learned to be grateful for what we have instead of focusing on what we’re lacking; that good friends are priceless; health is everything; laughter is the best medicine; and great ideas begin with a vivid imagination.

Realizing we had important lessons to share with others, we discussed at length how we would tell our story. And that’s when the fun began. We were going to write a New York Times bestselling book. Chic-lit, of course. A page-turner filled with love and humor. Another Bridget Jones’s Diary. The book would be turned into a movie. Who doesn’t love a feel-good, romantic comedy? We discussed which famous actresses would star in the film. Reese Witherspoon, perhaps? Gwyneth Paltrow? Kate Hudson? Nicole and I spent countless hours fantasizing about our forthcoming fame. We pictured ourselves going on book tours, traveling the world, and getting invited to the Ellen DeGeneres Show. The plan was that I would write the book while Nicole continued her art career, but since she was the inspiration behind the story, we were going to take the high road together.

When Nicole and I ended our daydreaming sessions, I was ready to make the details of our story come to life. Day after day, I sat in front of my computer and worked on developing the characters in my book, until eventually they became real to me. I could see and feel them in my mind. Reminiscent of my childhood, I had once again used my imagination to create–– just like the students in my pretend class, like the homes I had built with blocks, like the made-up places I had traveled to. The hours I spent writing the book allowed me to get carried off to a different world, to a land of make believe.

While I was writing, I wasn’t thinking about my reality, my problems, or getting bogged down with minutia. I was getting lost inside the world I had created. I wish someone had told me that growing up doesn’t mean you should stop using your imagination, because sparking your creativity is, without a doubt, the best form of therapy.

About Lori Gurtman
Lori Gurtman is an author living in Aspen, Colorado.

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