July #InkRipples – Inspiration


noun  in·spi·ra·tion \ˌin(t)-spə-ˈrā-shən, -(ˌ)spi-\

- something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone
- a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something
- a good idea

If you’ve read an interview or three of an author, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that I find inspiration for my writing in my kids, husband, nature, and in living life. But since we are talking about inspiration in this month’s Ink Ripples, I thought I’d talk about some of the less common circumstances that provide inspiration.

Deadlines. A powerful motivator and a source of “forced” inspiration. I can think about a story or blog post (such as our monthly Ink Ripples post) for months before I put fingertips to keyboard and force myself to write something that is due in the morning. Or I might not be able to think of anything to do with a topic until that deadline looms and suddenly my mind is a whirl of ideas. This is how I wrote Super Bad.

Books on Craft. It’s funny how reading a book about how to write well inspires me to go out and try to write well. I’m sorry to admit it is most likely because I’m thinking, “Sheesh, I can do better than that!” while reading. I'm pretty cocky about my skill - when I'm not writing. Then all that swagger goes out the window.

Reading. There is nothing more inspiring than reading a really great book. Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Forgive Me Leonard Peacock, Throne of Glass. Reading those made my mind itch. Made me want to create something readers would get lost in.

Believe it or not – a name. Yes, sometimes it is as simple as hearing/reading/coming up with a really good name. For a person or a town. For a coffee shop or a game. I came up with the title Save the Lemmings and HAD to write a story to go along with it.

Dreams – of course. I suspect this might be one of the most common forms of inspiration for writers. The problem is what was epic in a dream can’t always be fleshed out into a fully formed idea that is long enough for a book. My paranormal romance, Ghost Touch – published under the name LA Dragoni – was a dream. It took me years to be able to make a story out of it.

What inspires you in your job?

Ripples in the Inkwell is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the second Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.


  1. Many sources of inspiration! For me reading is the best inspiration. If the story is good, I come away wanting to write a better one.

    1. Yep. A good book can really spark those creative (and competitive) juices.

  2. I've had characters come to me from people-watching. I'll see a random person and something about them inspires a character or story idea. Names can do that, too.

    1. Lori, you've reminded me how I used to go to the airport just to people watch. I haven't done that in ages. It was so much fun and yes-great character fodder!

  3. My daughter is my biggest inspiration. :)

  4. Great post. Inspiration is all around us. Sometimes I don't see it at first, but often when I'm least thinking about it, a thought will pop into my brain. Yes, I know, that's scary. Sometimes it becomes a story; other times not. Nature and my family are my inspirations.

    1. I think we internalize most of what happens around us to draw on later as we develop characters and scenes.

  5. A big yes to all those things being inspiring! Great post, Kai!


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