lightI was asked that question the other day.  I stepped back and thought about it, then took a deep breath, and said, “My inspiration comes from . . . you, and it comes from others on a daily basis. Sometimes my inspiration comes from people I don’t even know.  Say a woman is rushing down the street to catch a bus and collides into someone else. It’s not the collision that would inspire me but the reaction to it. Do their eyes meet and, if so, what do they say? Do they get angry… frustrated, or maybe she just bumped into someone she once knew but hadn’t seen in a while (fancy that). All in all, the response would be what I’d watch and pull from. And, along with that observation, I also have to say that sometimes, as much as I hate to admit it, I eves drop (LOL).  I  like listening to conversations, not just to hear what they’re talking about, but also to hear how they talk about it—the tone, reflections, and exchange of words.

I look around at creation. Creation inspires me.  Here in Arizona, we have the mountains and palm trees that seem to come alive on freshly painted canvas—the bluest of skies, the most colorful sunrises and sunsets.  In the winters here, I have been known to stand on my back patio (where I used to live) and look up at the tips of the snow covered mountains, all the time wondering how it was possible for it to be so warm where I was and, at the same time, be able to bundle the grandchildren up in their warmest coats, hats, boots, and gloves and head off to play in the snow; building snowmen and making snow angels, then return the same day to the Arizona heat.  But, what if, in my rush to get home, I miscounted and left one of the children on the mountain? I call the police for help, and they want to question me about my intentions of taking the children to the mountains in the first place.  Irritated and concerned that the police are not moving fast enough to rescue my grandchild, I excuse myself and head to the bathroom, where I escape through the bat

Watching a city expand is inspiring.  Brand new communities that were once old, vacant dairy farms are now coming alive with active families who fall into the rhythm of their new surroundings.  They decorate for the holidays, have picnics in the neighborhood park, carpool, and come together to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and just about anything else they can find to celebrate, but then there are those families who want to stay to themselves. They don’t have much to do with the rest of the neighbors; they have little to say either.  These are the neighbors who keep the ball when it’s accidentally kicked or overthrown into their yard, the neighbor who won’t answer the door, when the girl scouts knock on it to sell their cookies (hmmm, now that would make me raise an eyebrow). It inspires me to write a story that might pull the character out of the house somehow. Maybe a child who is brave enough to knock at the door and call out to the neighbor until he finally opens it, allowing him/her to retrieve that overthrown ball.  And just maybe curiosity causes the child to return a number of times until he’s able to encourage the neighbor to join he and his family for dinner.  Is the neighbor a killer or is he someone who needs to stay hidden to keep from being killed? Don’t you want to know this story?