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Saturday, July 08, 2017

How do you come up with this stuff?

By Patty Smith Hall, @pattywrites

Several weeks ago, I helped Mrs. Partin’s second grade class complete an English project. In the days before my visit, the kids were assigned to come up with a list of characters and setting for a story that we would complete together in class. The day of my visit arrived, and I was surprised to find not only the children waiting on me but my cousin(Mrs. Partin’s mother) there too. Over the next hour, the kids and I weaved an imaginative story filled with battles and learning right from wrong and the power of a grandmother’s love.

Once we were finished and the kids were assigned their new project—drawing the story scenes, I asked my cousin why she was there. She said something about wanting to see me in action then asked:

“How do you come up with this stuff?”

My reply floored her. “It all started with Batman.”

Now, I’m not talking about the George Cooney-Ben Afleck-Val Kilmer caped crusader. I’m going old school with the campy television version starring Adam West and Burt Ward as the dynamic duo! With a right hook(BAM!) and a left upper cut(KAPOW!) these caped crusaders cleaned up Gotham City every week from the likes of the Joker, the Penguin and Catwoman.

But for me, Batman was so much more. It sparked my imagination for the first time in my young life. Many Sunday afternoons while on long boring drives with my parents, I’d step into the fantasy world of Gotham City, coming up with different stories with Batman and Robin. And of course, me.

Silly, I know, but looking back, I realized how much I learned about storytelling basics from the show—romantic conflict(Batman and Catwoman’s charged relationship,) chapter breaks(how would the dynamic duo escape the Riddler’s clutches THIS time?) and satisfying endings(the caped crusaders save the day!)

What sparked your imagination as a child? What did you learn from it?

How do you come up with this stuff? by Patty Smith Hall (Click to Tweet)

Batman sparked my imagination for the first time in my young life.~ Patty Smith Hall (Click to Tweet)

What sparked your imagination as a child?~ Patty Smith Hall (Click to Tweet)

Seven women seek husbands to help them rebuild a Kansas town.

Meet seven of Turtle Springs, Kansas’, finest women who are determined to revive their small town after the War Between the States took most of its men. . .and didn’t return them. The ladies decide to advertise for husbands and devise a plan for weeding out the riff raff. But how can they make the best practical choices when their hearts cry out to be loved?

Patty Smith-Hall is a multi-published, award-winning author with Love Inspired Historical/Heartsong and currently serves as president of the ACFW-Atlanta chapter. She currently lives in North Georgia with her husband of 30+ years, Danny; two gorgeous daughters and a future son-in-love. Her next release, New Hope Sweethearts will
be available in July on Amazon.


  1. I love that Batman was your inspiration! Me? It was Gilligan's Island and The Love Boat! Lol! Great post, Patty!

  2. I loved Batman! And for me it was the Black Stallion series. It made me want to write stories.

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