Unicorns, Rainbows, & Cupcakes or Where I get my inspiration!

Maybe it's because I write middle-grade mysteries about scientists creating giant frogs (Dead Frog on the Porch) or a slightly crazed-Scottish-Shakespeare-quoting owner of the bird sanctuary who's killing birds (Dead Bird through the Cat Door). 

But as a writer, the question I get asked most often is: 'where do you get your inspiration?'

Once asked this question I usual gaze skywards searching for a double rainbow and mumble something about unicorns, rainbows, and cupcakes. 

Or I give the cliched answer that I draw inspiration from everything around me. Which isn't really a cliche if you think about it. 

Is it just me? 

Am I surrounded by weird, unusual and unique things or do I just notice them? 

Take this for example. It's a sign at the local electronic recycling place. 

Seriously people, you can't recycle your children!
So, what does this even mean? No recycling of children - that's pretty clear. But microwaves are excepted - so if you put your child in the microwave, they'll make an exception and you'll be able to recycle them?! Maybe they mean microwaves are 'accepted.' 

As I unsurreptitiously took the photo the manager asked if I needed any help. (No, but clearly you do if people are dropping off their kids to be recycled). I told him that I was taking a picture of the sign because it was funny. He assured me that it was true and that kids climb into the recycling bin. Then I tried to clarify the 'accepted'/'excepted' issue and he told me he didn't know anything about that. 

Tru dat.    

Then we have my newest pet - no care and feeding - you just have to squeeze it until it's head (or other body parts) threaten to explode. My nephew, knowing how quirky I am, knew it would be the perfect Christmas present. 

Purple Squishy Dude

Who wouldn't be inspired by this purple squishy dude who I can squeeze, stretch out and manipulate to my tactile heart's content!  

He loves my books! 

And he glows in the dark!
Okay, get a load of this sign at a local pet store: 

Okay, walk me through this. You're sitting at home with your favourite boa constrictor, you figure she needs a little outing and you think, I know, let's go to the pet store. So, you wrap her around your shoulders like a reptile stole, you hop in the car and head out. 

Really?! People! Behave! 

Final one. On the window of a local hamburger restaurant:

Hmmmmm bacon! 
This one is self-explanatory. I guess I won't be applying since I'm a cat person and probably a flake as well! 

Inspiration is everywhere - you just have to notice it! 

Unicorns, rainbows, and cupcakes!


Nicky Schmidt said…
Yep, inspiration is everywhere, and what I love is how each individual responds to the things they see. I bet if you took one of those things, gave it to ten different people you'd end up with wildly different stories!
Jan Markley said…
Yes, that is so true Nicky - inspiration is in the eye (and hopefully the pen, for writers) of the beholder!
The Wicked Lady said…
I know, I know! Maybe microwaves are excepted from the rule of 'no kitchen appliances'. Which means they're accepted. As long as they're not accompanied by children, I guess.

Isn't English grand?
Jan Markley said…
It doesn't get any better than that Wicked Lady!

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