Friday, 18 January 2013

Weekly Inspirations #1

Image courtesy of acockle / 
This is the first of what will become a weekly post featuring various things have inspired me during the week. There will be snippets from my own writer's notebook, as well as links to any sites I have tweeted or re-tweeted.

In My Notebook this Week

Finding something in the ball pool. Last Friday I took my son to a soft play centre. It's a regular event where we meet up with some of his friends and spend a couple of hours running around being silly and having fun (and that's just the parents). This time my son wanted to take along a small stuffed toy (Tigger) and we played a few games of hide and seek Tigger. At one point Tigger was hidden in the ball pool and while searching around in there I wondered what other things we might find. What if we found a hand, or something else horrifying and unexpected? Unlikely I know, but maybe it could be a good story opener. And it needn't be something quite so disgusting, what about a phone with incriminating pictures on, a wallet with a photo in of someone you know with people you have never seen before. Or how about the purse of a woman you have never met before with a picture of your husband inside holding a child you don't recognise? The possibilities are endless one you start asking questions.

Dream or something paranormal? Just after I went to bed one night I was woken up by the blood curdling scream of my three year old son. I ran in to his room and he started shouting about seeing a man in his room. Apparently this man was walking towards him and changing into something else, and then all of a sudden he had no head and no feet. After calming him down and going back to bed my writer's brain kicked in and started asking questions. What if it wasn't a dream, but a vision? Who was the man? Why did he have no head and feet? Was it a ghost of someone who had already met a nasty end and was seeking justice, or a vision of something that was going to happen to someone in the near future?

Childlike joy of throwing snowballs. We had quite a bit of snow this week and walking my son to pre-school on Monday I had to make snowballs for him (he hasn't mastered it himself yet) which he would then throw at fences and the pavement. At one point he gave me his most mischievous grin and then threw one at me, giving off a Dr. Evil style laugh as he did it. Obviously I had to get him back. We then had great fun 'getting' each other all the way to the gates. It was one of those perfect mornings when you stop thinking about everything and just embrace the joy of the moment and behave like a kid again.  Remembering this feeling could come in handy for scene in a story at some point.

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr. There is a scene in my WIP where the main character is struggling with something and may be in danger, she looks over to her friend for support only to see him walking away. This quote reminded me to really focus on the effect of this.

Carrier bag at side of pavement with what looks like a child's artwork/schoolwork. I noticed this on the way to pick my son up and was instantly filled with questions. Why was it there? Was it dropped without realising? Was the owner being chased by bullies and dropped it by accident but had no time to stop and pick it up? Maybe it was snatched by bullies and then discarded? What about an abduction; a child dropping it as they were bundled into a car or van? What if there was something really important in the bag? A picture for/of/from a dying/dead relative? Endless possibilities to inspire a short story or even a scene from a book.

Come for dinner. I had to pick my son up from pre-school because he was poorly and he invited one of the ladies who works there to our house for dinner. She replied that she couldn't because she had to go and pick up her daughter, who was also poorly, and take her to the doctors. His response was, "go to our doctors it's only down the road then you can come for dinner and bring your girl." What would happen if your child invited someone for tea and they actually turned up? Who is it? Are they welcome or not? Why?

"Yucky, it tastes of old toys and car tracks." This was my son's response when he had to have Calpol last night. This morning he said it tasted like radiators. I'm dying to use it somewhere.

Life on Mars. Although I don't write sci-fi myself I was amazed by this news article and a few ideas started circulating around my brain about what it would be like. Wanted: Humans to populate Mars colony - forever 

Hidden between closely built buildings. A woman somehow fell into the space between two buildings and had to be rescued by firefighters. The space was impossibly small, just 8-10 inches. You can read the article here  After wondering how the hell she had managed to fall in there in the first place I started to think what a good place it would be to hide a body, or parts of one. Maybe a couple move into a new apartment and begin to notice a strange smell that seems to be coming from inside the wall. Or a building is being demolished or remodelled and the workers make a grisly discovery.

Tweeted Links


Watch This School Teacher's Amazing Lecture On The Meaning Of Life  Truly . Warning, you may cry.

Brilliant RT  What if Money Was No Object? - Alan Watts  Writer friends don't miss.

RT @RochelleGardener MT : [Don't] wait to be struck by an idea. If you’re a writer... sit down and damn well decide to have an idea. - Andy Rooney

RT @SueInge RT : “…Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Helen Keller (So, jump in!)


The Art of Ideas: How To Overcome Writer’s Block 

What to Do When Your Creative Writing Hits a Brick Wall

13 Reasons to Keep Writing in 2013 by  

13 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers 

so-called laws for the creative badass by 

100 Common-Sense Ways to Write Better :Writing Forward by 

RT @DannyIny Old favorite: 4 Types of Head Trash that Cripple Your Ability to Make Money 

Creativity takes courage. Henri Matisse 

A Short Rant On The “You Can’t Teach Writing” Meme by 

What I Learned On My 5-Day Social Media Diet by 

RT @aghowardwrites In which I reveal humiliating mistakes I made as an aspiring author; OH, and a chance to win a signed  ARC:

A Writing Exercise to Help Your Story Ring With Authenticity by on Mystery Writing is Murder 

Novel Layouts – Getting It Right « Donna Newton's Blog 

Terrible lies writers tell each other: there are no rules | Andrew Jack Writing  

Writer Unboxed » Embrace the Naked 


Publishing and Marketing Your Crap by 

YA Highway: 3 things which are NOT signs you should give up on your messy first draft 

Bring Out the Emotion in Your Characters | Where Writers Win

Author Blogging 101: How to Create Foundation Posts for Your Blog — The Book Designer 

8 Signs That You Were Meant to Be a Writer | Write to Done

101 Social Media Marketing Resources – 2012 Edition | Heidi Cohen

The Monster List of 100 Posts that Will Rock Your Blog in 2013 | Writing Happiness by  

Author, Jody Hedlund: What Does It Really Take to Be a Die-Hard Writer?  

Four Ways to Pre-Write Your Scenes by 

Want Agents to Read Your Novel? Do This First 

So true RT  "How To Stop Procrastinating Immediately" | SHARE | 

25 pieces of advice for aspiring writers | Andrew Jack Writing 
Literature-inspired posters and prints by ObviousState I love these!

7 Strategies Villains Use to Trick Their Victims |  Very interesting and useful for 

'Nothing Any Good Isn't Hard': F. Scott Fitzgerald's Secret to Great Writing - Maria Popova-The Atlantic 

Oprah's Book Club Author Ayana Mathis' Writing Advice (VIDEO)

Author Blogging 101: How to Create an Endless Stream of Blog Post Ideas — The Book Designer   Brilliant idea

Karen Woodward: How To Write A Twitter Story 

RT @ritamills Writing As Your Business 


623 of the Best Books Ever Written  I've read 63, started 6 + own but not read another 40. How about you?

8 Books for Writers by   What would you add to this list?


RT @JohnDonoghue64 Batman na na na na na na na na 

RT @Charles_HRH Ordered a portrait of Kate for her 31st birthday. Have decided to keep it until her 50th. Awkward. 

Boy writes letter to LEGO after losing minifigure, gets awesome response - StumbleUpon  Wow, best customer service ever

RT @ThatKevinSmith The people petitioned for the U.S. Gov't to build a DEATH STAR. The issued this AWESOME official response:

bat-cat.jpg 600×661 pixels  So cute, and very cool

I hope you enjoyed this inside look into my crazy mind. What have you written in your notebook this week? Share in the comments.

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