Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Photo by fannfango, Morguefile.com

In the July/August 2012 Writer’s Digest, Celia Johnson wrote about “bolts of inspiration” that have influenced authors. Apparently E.B. White was walking through an orchard, on his way to visit some pigs when he considered a large spider that had woven a web in his house. Bam, Charlotte of Charlotte’s Web was born.

Celia Johnson also wrote about how a sixteen-year-old C.S. Lewis daydreamed about a half-man, half-goat rushing through snowy woods with an umbrella and packages. Mr. Lewis remembered this image twenty-four years later and used this hoofed character in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

I find these anecdotes fascinating. Yet, I’ll admit to being a pinch envious. I don’t think I’ve ever been inspired on my way to visit pigs. And I’m pretty sure I didn’t daydream about half-man goats at sixteen. In fact, I don’t recall ever being jolted by inspiration as if stung by a live wire. Sure, ideas come my way and some intrigue me, but (as of yet) nothing as dramatic as a half-animal toting an umbrella (not to mention packages). And, as much as I adore Charlotte’s Web, I doubt a spider will ever inspire me to do anything but scoot away from it (probably with a squeal). My ideas are more like seeds that require planting, cultivating, and nurturing before there is even the possibility of them growing into anything that might be useful.

How about you? Have you ever experienced the full on kick of inspiration? I’d love to read about it--and be envious of you, too.