Monday, July 6, 2009

Inspiration is Paging You

I generally find inspiration in the weirdest things. This morning as I lingered in bed in a sleepy daze, after a short nap because my husband's off today and I'd gotten up at 6 AM—early for meand wanted a few more winks, I tuned in to the various sounds of morning. My ceiling fan whirling around with its own drum beat, birds praising God, a neighbor mowing his lawn, cars driving by every now and again, my daughter laughing. Then I heard this unexpected intercom-type noise, someone being paged on a walkie-talkie maybe, and BAM.

It doesn't seem like much at all. Just a voice. Just a call. Something tiny and insignificant really. But no, I didn't see it that way, and neither did my new character who's just been handed a baton she never asked for and can't for her life get rid of. The burly doctor who held it before her committed suicide. What on earth will she do when people start dying at her hand? She can't run. She tries. She can't avoid people. She tries that too. She can't escape her destiny. Nor can she forsake The List.

I don't know where I'll go with it yet. It's inspiration that waits to be fleshed out. I have many such ideas for stories running through my head. Some leaning more adult, some more YA. This feels YA to me, and is aching to be in First Person--which I've never wielded before--but I need to wait to see where KINGS & QUEENS is positioned first so I don't waste my time writing for the wrong peeps. I write for readers who love suspense stories, not really a particular age group, but in the end, it's all about shelving and my main characters need to fit in a certain age bracket. Suspense with extra toppings, especially some weird ones, will be my niche for a while. Whether that's YA or adult will be up to the big guys. My future projects wait for the almighty arrow.

Either way, I'll write the same. Always building in complexity and layers in the plot points and prose, always promising multifaceted, engaging characters worth reading about, always sharing something a little bit weird.

Where do you find your inspiration? I found mine this morning in a wake-up call. It can be found in a myth, a news article, a secret, a dream, a photo or a new development. Take up your pen. Go find inspiration. It's paging you.

~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.


  1. I had a hypnagogic dream recently (well, sorta recently) which launched an idea for me. I have many other projects right now, but man -- it's tempting to come off those and go with the new, shiny idea.

    I have no idea where the ideas spawn, but I'm glad they do. :)

  2. Me too, especially since I want a writing career and not just one book on the market.

  3. Inspiration comes in many forms for me as well, sometimes even trivial forms. Believe me, nothing is trivial. As for the first person novel, my second book was written in first person and it failed miserably. Not because the writing was terrible, or that I didn't pull the story off, it's that the world in which the story existed was much too vast for one particular perspective.

    Thank you so much for sharing this post!

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience with writing in First. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

  5. My latest one came from a myth of the Yuki-onna, or Japanese Snow Woman. There's a common retelling of it by Lafcadio Hearn and part of that was the inspiration for my book, but I wondered--what if I told it from her POV? And what if she was just a normal person before until she was transformed into the terrible Snow Woman?

    If it's not myths that inspire, certain historical events will inspire something. I can't remember how my historical fiction novel came about but I'm pretty certain it came from me reading about Meiji era Japan and the foreign population that came in to "modernize" the country. It just snowballed from there :)

  6. I know about your myth surge. That's so awesome. I'm so excited for you and can't wait to read your book. It sounds very unique.

  7. I was sitting in a bus yesterday evening and a Chinese man drove past. He wasn't your average Chinese man either. He was bigger, looked like a mix with other races, therefore more exotic.

    In Jamaica, the tendency is for those of Chinese extraction to intermarry. But what if he fell in love with a black woman? And what if both their families are against it? Opposed enough to do the unthinkable to stop them getting together?

    Yeah, I know - that's been done to death. BUT, I'll put my own spin on it, even though I'm trying not to start any more stories before I get the last one wrapped up. :)

    Yep, inspiration hits when I least expect it. Good luck fleshing out that project!

  8. Thank you. I totally agree. I too think inspirations hits when I least expect it. It's cool how one tiny thing, like a seed, can flourish into a larger wonder.

  9. Thanks! With the amount of people telling me they want to read it, perhaps I should finally get off my procrastination streak and WRITE. :P