One book leads to another...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stepping Outside

As every writer knows, the most commonly asked question is “Where do you get your inspiration?” 

You mean, besides soft music, scented candles, a book I can’t put down or the laughter of a child? For a writer there’s much to be read in the haggard face of a homeless person, the furtive glances of an unkempt youth in the cold medicine aisle of the Pharmacy, and who can overlook the light of discovery in the eyes of child who just tied his own shoe?

If ever I do find myself at a loss for inspiration I have only to step outside and here are some reasons why:

One Summer Morning
All lanes were evidently open at Heaven’s bowling alley this morning as I was awakened by a riotous strike that sent celestial pins rolling boisterously across the sky. But what had me scrambling hastily from my bed was the rain. Not just a shower but a colossal branch-bending downpour! Monsoon had begun and I wasn’t about to miss it. Wasting only a second getting my Uggs on the right feet I sped down the steps, flipped on the coffee pot and continued my trek outside where the rain cascaded in shimmering silver sheets against a backdrop of twinkling city lights. I felt so awake - so alive, I could almost hear the desert sigh. But a cup of coffee wouldn’t hurt. Taking that first delicious sip, I glanced at the microwave clock which read: 3:45AM.
Good Morning, Arizona!

As one of the four corner states where you can stand in one place and see highways stretching in all directions, each one beckoning adventurous travelers “This way” on faded billboards, we know it’s a tough decision.

But should you happen to choose Arizona as your next exciting venture, whether from the four corners or via our historic Route 66, you’ll be in for a grand buffet of breathtaking landscapes, diverse cultures, natural wonders and wide-ranging climates which accommodate a vast array of wildlife uniquely suited to each. 

The Saguaro cactus is our state cactus and takes fifty to one hundred years to grow an arm! You can judge a Saguaro’s age by its height and cutting one down could earn you 25 years is prison.

Roughly the size of Italy, Arizona boasts more parks and National Monuments than any other state. In addition to eleven million acres of National Forest, we also have the largest percentage of land designated as Native American territory and are proud to host the world’s largest telescope – Kitt Peak National Observatory.

In winter you can ski in the morning up north and barbeque a burger for supper down south, so you’ll want to pack shorts and ski boots for even a brief vacation.

Out “where the west was won” there’s actually a town dubbed “Too tough to die”, which seems to apply to some of our laws and ordinances. For example, though no longer used for transporting goods and all but unheard of out here, hunting camels is prohibited. 

It is also illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs or for anyone over 18 to have more than one missing tooth visible when smiling. J You cannot ride your horse up the courthouse steps or smoke within fifteen feet of an establishment without a liquor license. In Tucson, women may not wear pants. (Someone forgot to tell the Cowgirls!)

Contrary to popular belief, the famous gunfight at OK Corral lasted only about thirty seconds, but the daily re-enactments in Tombstone last year contributed to sales tax revenue of about $678K for the town of more or less than 500. And lastly, it is illegal to refuse a person a glass of water – statewide.
Happy Trails…..

So, what’s outside your door? Does anyone have only one single source of inspiration? What inspired your most favorite piece of work?


  1. So many things can inspire a writer. A screw (and by that I mean the little metal tool) once inspired a whole series of mine. And a safety pin...yup, one of those inspired a scene in a WIP.

    I can see how Arizona can be inspiring. I've always wanted to go there, take pictures, and just let the scenery inspire me. :)

    1. Ha! A safety pin? Now I'll have to find out more! I hope you do get the chance to visit Arizona - even a breeze can inspire out here!

  2. Ha! There's so much to love here. You can't ride your horse up the courthouse steps? Donkeys can't sleep in bathtubs? Too funny. There's much inspiration in Arizona. I get inspired by almost anything. Mostly stories people tell (they never know that I'm always taking notes for my novels!).

    1. Absolutely! Can you tell I love Arizona? Stories people tell...and writers are the messengers, though names and even storylines may be changed to protect the innocent!

  3. Wow, Arizona sounds beautiful. And you painted such a lovely picture for us! I loved how you awoke and ran out of your bed just to catch that inspiration you knew you would from the rain falling outside.
    Is it really true about people over 18 not allowed to have more than one missing visible tooth when they smile? lol

    1. Thank you for the kind comments, Gina! The best thing about being inspired by nature is that it is free and plentiful! Yep, the missing tooth law is still on the dusty books, can you imagine what the punishment might have been? Ha!

  4. The outdoors definitely inspire me. I've gotten ideas from trees shaped like crouching tigers and the clouds.

    1. Oh yes! And bushes become charging bears on summer nights when crickets chirp and Palo Verdes reach for you with menacing bony fingers!
      Thanks for commenting, Kelly!


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