I'm often asked if my job as a court reporter gives me inspiration for stories. I've always said no, because most of the cases I'm involved with would bore the reader to death. Occasionally when I work with the police departments on a murder case, that may fuel a few of my murder scenes, but not always. Actually the downtime in driving does give me lots of time to think though. I'm often on the road two to three hours between getting to the deposition site and coming home. This morning, on top of pouring coffee into orange juice, I found myself in a somewhat pensive mood. An hour on the road for a fifteen minute deposition, that without an appearance fee would be a loss for me. Now, before you feel sorry for me, that isn't always the case. Court reporters make good money at times, and have lots of jobs that aren't really money makers. But getting back to my pensive mood. I found myself looking back over the years to other jobs I've had, and one job I was offered that truly made me laugh out loud as I was driving along because it reminded me of something my daddy said to me when I brought home a particular "pretty boy". Oh, and he was handsome. After my date that night when I came home dad was waiting and we sat down to talk for a few minutes. Dad wasn't a big talker and he often put it pretty bluntly, which he did in this case. He told me I couldn't go out with that guy anymore and then he said "You can dress up ugly, honey, but you can't cure stupid."
I realize now what I didn't realize then--Dad was always right. I heard several years later that my pretty boy had committed several crimes, including murder, and was serving a 98 year sentence. Thanks to dad I jumped ship on that one before it sunk.
These thoughts led to other thoughts in my pensive mood. I went back over my life and training as a hypnotherapist. I spent thousands of hours in classes studying psychology, counseling and hypnosis techniques. I've always been fascinated by the power of the mind, and hypnosis to me seemed like a wonderful tool to help people. One of our requirements was to attend and take part in a lecture presented by a top hypnotist on "stop smoking" seminars. I limited my presentation to the health benefits received from stopping smoking, although there are times I believe there are benefits to those who smoke. (Don't hit me with wet noodles. A doctor actually told me that."
I'm a very passionate speaker on topics I believe in. For years I have taught free meditation and self-hypnosis classes for healing benefits. I'm a firm believer that the mind has the power to heal us if we can only tap into those resources. After my speech the presenter made me an offer he probably felt I couldn't refuse. He wanted me to join their group. They could book speeches for me and charge up to $300.00 a person for a one hour speech. What the presenter didn't realize was that I was passionate about what I was studying, but to me it was a spiritual journey in finding ways to help people learn to help themselves. It wasn't about money. I looked at him, smiled and said: "You can dress up ugly, but you can't cure stupid, and anyone willing to pay $300.00 an hour to hear me speak is too stupid for me to be of any benefit to."
I walked away from that presentation with my morals intact, and still feeling good about myself. I'd learned some valuable things there and perhaps I could be rich now at the expense of others, but I wouldn't be able to sleep well at night. Daddy had another saying that we hear a lot. "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is." I don't see these people doing seminars anymore so the odds are they priced themselves out of business. When you're studying something to help others, price should not be a part of the equation. You should put just as much passion into helping someone who needs it that can't afford to pay as you put into that person who can afford to pay $300.00 an hour . If you do that, then odds are you're going to succeed. If you don't, odds are eventually you'll run out of people who can afford you.
I turned my thoughts from this to my writing. And wow, what a kicker. The third Catherine Mans book just clicked and now I can start writing it. So if you love the Catherine Mans Psychic Suspense team, get ready--there's going to be a new one coming soon.