A cupid-like god sits up in his cloud preening his wings. He looks down and notices that I’ve just turned the water on in my shower…the perfect time to hit this girl with the arrow of inspiration! Then he chuckles knowing that I will spend the next 15-20 minutes frantically trying to keep the idea in my head while I finish my shower, dry off, and dress. Oh, wait! William’s up, gotta make him breakfast before I can write the idea down, otherwise he’ll constantly pester me… Gah!
Okay, mythological god mangling aside, I’m usually hit with ideas, whether for stories or blog posts, at inopportune times. Shower, driving, changing a poopy diaper… all are ripe opportunities for me to get hit with an idea because I can’t stop to grab a pen.
But the actual way I’m inspired? Well, that all depends on what I’m thinking about, listening to, watching, or reading at the time. For something to start a book, I like the Stephen King way to come up with a plot. Ask a “what if” question and explore it. “What would happen if one of Turlough O’Carolan’s guides got stuck in the future and started teaching about who he was?”
What keeps me going is research and chance. Researching for my book fuels the ideas that keep the plot moving. Don’t have an adventure to give to your characters as they journey north? Well, looky there! Wikipedia talks about an undefeated Irish sword of light! That ought to put a kink in anyone’s plan.
These research driven inspirations are exactly why I do the research when I’m not distracted by day-to-day tasks because I’ll get so keyed up by the inspiration, that I’ll probably do the task wrong,… like put marina sauce on a waffle. Maybe one day I’ll write a book about juggling day-to-day with inspiration and how they sometimes blend together in those not-so-pleasing ways. Maybe I’ll call it Italian Style Waffles. 😉
NaNo word count: 1,971