Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Inspiration in the Strangest Places

Like many writers, I find my inspiration in the oddest places. Every year when I hit the local Pride events I come back full of color, life and writing ideas. I'm not used to coming back from a visit to urgent care with a niggling idea in the back of my head, only to have it come flying forward during an impromptu visit to Florida.

I'm the first to admit I'm very spoiled by the men in my life. My husband spoils me rotten, as well as my BFF since forever.  I had a chance to fly down to Florida for a mini-vacation, courtesy of my BFF who has a time share there. While I was off gallivanting around Orlando, my husband stayed home and held down the fort.

Rather than hit DisneyWorld on a hot, steamy summer weekend, we opted instead for some more traditional Florida sites. One was an airboat ride through the swamps with Captain Kenny, a very fun, knowledgeable former Marine who really knew his birds. As we were zooming around the lake, looking for the giant snails that are ravaging the swamps, a variety of birds and some more momma alligators, I noticed a few eyes peering at me above the water.

Captain Kenny had explained how the alligators pull larger prey down into the water to soften it up to be able to pull the meat off. They swallow their meals whole and don't have the teeth for chewing. I knew that already but something about dragging their prey down started a series of story ideas for my Jess Barker series. Now I just have to figure out where/when to put this storyline.

As I mentioned, it started off with a trip to urgent care after I overworked my knee and ended up with an ultrasound and x-rays. That had started me down a path with Jess making a visit to an ER, but I wasn't exactly sure why she was there as she's the one that usually ends up hurt. Seeing the bull alligator's eyes just peeping above the waterline is what pulled the story out of hiding.

Funny how an alligator's eyes could get me to crank out 5,000+ words. Inspiration, it's a strange thing!

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