I have found that inspiration comes from many different sources. I have often found inspiration in the students that I teach. They come from various backgrounds and family situations. Some are from normal families (whatever that may consist of), and others from one parent families which may or may not involve major trauma or abuse. Some may be from adoptive families, but I have found that there is always a story of interest.
The various behaviors of children are also inspirational. They may be of genius level or kids just getting by, but each is unique in their own way. I had one student that was adopted and her moods changed from day to day, but more often than not the moods were bad. It was more than the ups and downs associated with new hormones. The mood of her home life affected her behavior each day and conflict with parents, who were in her mind not really her parents, set her moods each day. Another student was so intellectually above the other students he had a difficult time fitting in. No real mood swings but full concentration on academics, but still a story.
Another source of inspiration that I have not paid much attention to are little children, my four year old in particular. Her imagination is really starting to develop. She is even helping me come up with new ideas for a children’s book. An original idea came from her as we talked one night as I was putting her to bed. She wanted me to write a story about a little girl with a dog named Mike, who found herself in a place where the sidewalks looked like chocolate and the clouds looked like marshmallows. I thought I knew where this was going, but we will see. Also, animals could talk.
Well this and a couple of other stories inspired by children are in the works. So keep an eye out for Mike and a little girl named Olivia.
***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo.