Sunday, 24 June 2012

Inspiration Point.

Some of you may know I've been on my travels this month through the great U S of A and although I'd planned to post more frequently I've found myself without internet access for much of the trip so that spoilt my plans somewhat.
Anyway, while I was being driven through Yellowstone National Park in our R.V we passed a place called Inspiration Point and it got me wondering...
How do we find our inspiration for the stories in our head?
Where does that first kernel of an idea spring from?
Indeed I'm not the only one to wonder as one of the most common questions authors are asked is "Where do you get your ideas from?" and it may be we can't remember specifically but something, somewhere sparked a neuron in our subconscious and there it will sit for a while in the digestive juices of our brains until it's ready for some more serious thought in the good old frontal lobe.
Personally I've found ideas in songs, in a line from a movie and once quite out of the blue while sitting in the bath! The important thing is to be open to inspiration, to find time to daydream and to let your mind wander away from the daily minutaie that consume us and enter the world of what if....?
Ideas have never been hard for me, if anything I think I have too many, they drag me away from the hard work of writing into the realm of possibility and freedom, which can seem much more alluring! As a consequence I have many first drafts and only one completed (I think!) novel and when I should be working on revising and editing an existing work I instead go off to gallivant in the palace of new ideas.
My trip has given me much room for inspiration and I am sure my subconscious is churning out some possible book ideas as I write but what I have learned is that it takes more then inspiration to be a writer and that an idea is very far away from a finished book and yet without them we are nothing at all...
Am off to give myself a strict talking to but if you want to share your tales of inspiration please do so in the comments!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

I went to Hogwarts!!

Yes, dear readers it is true, yours truly has been to Hogwarts. I also took a wander through Hogsmeade, ate dinner at the Three Broomsticks and purchased a purple pygmy puff at Zonko's.
And no, it did not take place in my imagination but in the marvellous world of Universal Studios, Orlando where I happen to be holidaying. As I lingered outside Olivanders (and the ENORMOUS queue of desperate wannabe wizards waiting for a wand) I wondered how it must feel for J.K Rowling to have her imagination realised to such a degree.
To go from bestselling books, to a succesful film and merchandise francise is beyond the dreams of most authors and yet J.K has surpassed even those lofty heights by having her very own world at Universal Studios. A world of stunning accuracy and filled to bursting every day by gazillions of fans spending a fortune on wands, costumes, broomsticks, sweets and toys.
I have to say it was a very enjoyable day, the attention to detail is superb, the rides are huge fun and you can even buy pumpkin juice and butterbeer along the way. The forbidden journey ride gives you the chance to wander through Hogwarts (albeit while in a very long and winding queue) and the simulator allows you to join Harry, Ron and Hermione on a flying adventure meeting Dementors, giant spiders and dragons along the way.
The only drawback to the whole thing is that you have to share the experience with millions of others which does rather detract from the fun and lead to some colossal wait times. (My advice if you fancy going is to turn up either very early or very late to try and avoid the queues.) Also Hogsmede has been designed to be realistic and not to cope with the numbers of people who are there which means that many of the shops are jam packed and almost imposssible to enjoy as you might like to.
All in all though I would recommend it to any fans of the books, it is an amazing experience to be able to be a part of a story I so loved, my only wish is that I could have it all to myself for a morning and truly enjoy all the detail and wonder of this very special world.