Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Everyday Adventures

A few weekends ago, I had a book reading and signing in my hometown. It was fun seeing family, friends and new faces. The mom-in-law of one of my friends asked me a question that I get quite a bit, "Where do you get the ideas for your writing?"

I always have to pause and think about my answer. There are so many people and things that spark ideas. My former, second-grade fashionistas inspired my picture book, Katie Ling Fashion Queen. The lack of literary resources for a second-grade math concept inspired another picture book. As a child, the way I saw other kids treat a loved one forced me to write a picture book that I'm currently editing with my agent, Dawn Dowdle. Silly family stories have also had me laughing and typing simultaneously.

For me, inspiration doesn't usually come from unbelievable, mind-blowing events. I'm inspired by the day-to-day activities that may even seem mundane to others, like a stroll in the park with my son or looking through a family album. Actually, I love that moment a new idea for a story hits me. It's thrilling and anxiety-filled all in one. Just the thought of a new story is exciting, but of course that excitement is followed by the anxious feelings of whether or not I can pull it off. I've learned to shake those off and reach for my computer the next chance I get.

Below are a few pictures of my everyday adventures. Okay, as for the last picture, maybe we don't go to a museum every single day, but it's not exactly a mind-blowing event either :)


  1. I agree with you. My inspirations are often rooted in the mundane and "day-to-day." Then the key (and cliched) question often kicks in: what if? I think one of the "mysteries" for me is that some inspirations set in motion a story that has life and thrives and others blaze quickly and sputter out. Never know until I follow 'em.

  2. True, Larry. Some seem great in the beginning, but quickly lose steam. Hopefully, those are few and far between! Thanks for the comment!

  3. I enjoyed the book signing in your hometown. Katie Ling Fashion Queen was a wonderful gift for my great niece's 1st birthday.

    - Your friend's mom-in-law :-)

  4. Mary Jo, thanks for coming to the signing. It was so nice to see you. I'm glad your niece liked Katie Ling. Haha. Yes, you are my friend's mom-in-law, but also my friend. I just can't help but use "mom-in-law" anytime I can. It's a fun twist on the regular.