Thursday, September 29, 2011

Inspired by You

"Do you understand that which I am saying to you now?" What film? It's kind of vague, but I'll give you a hint; a dog is saying it. Earl Grey tea to the first to correctly guess in the comments!

Boys are weird. They are attracted to things we girls overlook, or give a passing glance. Like trucks. Or jackhammers. Or bulldozers. As my two year-old says, "Oh wow!"

So during a Sunday afternoon reading time i.e. I sit on the couch and read out loud and he runs around me, I got out Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel from a Virginia Lee Burton treasury. In the front, I noticed an introduction - as authors, we're supposed to read those, right?

It gave interesting notes on personal life touches Virginia put in her books. Popperville in Mike Mulligan is based off West Newbury, Massachusetts, a favorite haunt of the author. The scenario of The Little House sprung from the desire of her and her husband to move their newly purchased home away from the highway back into an apple orchard. The little house character is similarly rescued when it finds itself overtaken by the city and is finally returned to the countryside. The book received a Caldecott Medal in 1942 and has stayed in print since then.

Inspiration from home repairs? What about inspiration for someone? Virginia got the idea for Choo Choo; The Story of the Engine Who Ran Away when her five year-old son Aris adored watching the switching of the railroad cars at Rockport Station.

Have you been inspired to write a story for someone? I know Shawn Lamb  started her Kingdom of Allon books from her daughter's request for a story. Who have you written for? Or what mundane household event triggered brilliance?


  1. Interesting idea. I wrote my poem 'Path of Creativity'

    having been inspired by my email buddy of many years who supports my writing.

  2. The dangers of being friends/family member/married to a might end up being in their work!!!

  3. This quote is from Up by Pixar, said by the Alpha dog. Love his wording!

  4. I wrote a children's book after I told the same naptime story to my grandkids for years. One day,I'll self pub that book and give it to them when they're older.