People say the title of this post to me a lot. And it's true. Anything and everything is grist for the writing mill. After all, novels are about people and what happens to them in their lives. So novelists take pieces of their own lives and pieces of the lives of those they know or read/hear about and spin them into fiction to entertain and encourage and inspire, among other things.
Lots of my life experiences have been woven into my books here and there. Several of my novels have had much larger "chunks" of my life worked in and through them (The Forgiving Hour, Beyond the Shadows, and The Story Jar are the main ones that fall into this category).
There are, of course, things in my life that I keep private or only share with close personal friends. I think in this Internet/Facebook/Twitter age we all have to learn to keep a balance, and I try to discern how to be open and transparent without being foolish. However, readers of my books don't usually know what comes from my personal experiences and what comes from research so I can mine the depths of my heart and soul for my fiction.
Someday, the two photographs below (Jerry and me in 1989 & in 2011) will probably be inspiration for a novel. If so, that love story will most definitely include the amazing ways God keeps His promises.
I'm off next week on a trip with a bunch of writers. Hope to have some great photos to share with you upon my return.