13 August 2007


So, what gives you inspiration?

Is it a favorite song? A secret place? A haunted house on your street? The little voice in your head that whispers to you when you're bored. (Sometimes it's best not to listen too closely to that voice, as it is usually the one that gets you into trouble.)

I read a lot of posts from writers who talk about their muse. If I have one he/she is a silent partner who pushes my characters on the stage to say their lines, or tell me their stories.

I've been known to write down ideas after looking through Fate Magazine, or Scientific American. Both are periodicals rich with wonderful articles to spark the imagination. Sometimes my ideas will come from dreams. Though I have to admit to most of the time only being able to use the germ of the idea gleaned from dreams because mine tend to run to the chaotic and unsensible.

Once I got an idea when one of my characters climbed into the shower with me. But it wasn't just any character, but a minor villian from a novel who had caused the heroine a broken heart and years of self-conciousness when he did something horrible and humiliating to her back in high school. I love telling this story, and have done so on another blog...but I love it so much it's worth retelling. It goes something like this:

I was in the midst of a shampoo, rinse, repeat cycle when I hear the sliding shower doors open. I crack one eye open and there's this tall sandy haired hunk standing in front of me buck nekkid with his arms crossed and a pouty look on the most sensuous male mouth I've ever seen. At first I had a hard time placing him...as my eyes weren't entirely focused on his face. (Hey, can you blame me?) When I finally looked into his eyes...my heart sank.

"Well, hell. What do you want?" I started to rinse my hair again. If I was going to have a discussion with Hot Nekkid Man, I was going to do it without the shampoo induced mohawk.

"You know it didn't happen that way." Okay, so I have to admit if the buff body wearing nothing but shower steam didn't get my attention, his opening gambit sure as shit did.

"Oh, yeah? Then what did happen?"

For the next ten or fifteen minutes he regaled me with the story of his horrible youth. The golden boy had a pretty rough homelife that he kept from friends. I kinda started feeling a little sorry for the dude, when he says..."But that's not as interesting as how my wife and I got together."

To say I'm shocked speechless at this point is an understatment, because I didn't even know he'd gotten married or that his courtship and subsequent marriage had been arranged so with the not-to-subtle hand of divine intervention.

Needless to say, I run from the shower, dripping wet and freezing my soap suds off to sit at the computer and start taking down the wonderful, poignant and totally redeeming story of this minor villian's rise to herodom.

Like I said, I may not have a muse perse, but I have story ideas come to me in many fun and interesting ways.

Any of you ever get an idea for a book in a less than traditional manner?

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