The Wonder


C.S. Lewis explained the inspiration for his Chronicles of Narnia by saying, “It all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy woodland. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: ‘Let’s try to make a story about it.'” (from “It All Began with a Picture”)

And several delightful stories were born.



Just like Mr. Lewis, I’m often not sure where my inspiration comes from. Here’s how I explained it in answer to a Goodreads question. “I find inspiration in everything from a Scripture verse to a brand name, a blue-eyed stranger to a billboard. I find inspiration by living life with both eyes open.”
Most of my inspiration comes from everyday life and interactions with my artist colony/family. ; ) A major side character in one of my stories is patterned after Grandma Nut from the board game Candyland. Super cool, right? (She even has a dog who is described slightly like a peanut.) 😛
I think some of my characters would protest if they knew their real origins. So, dear Sir Larkin, Drewin and Ryla, Byron, Sienna, and everyone else please stop reading this post if you won’t be able to handle it. I’m about to confess.
  • Sir Larkin–your name was originally a girl’s name I heard at a conference two years ago. Very sorry, but I thought with the medieval twist it would work. Will you forgive me? Your cleft chin I gifted you with makes up for it, I think.
  • Drewin and Ryla–I’ve overused this time period and all the names in it, so your names are completely from the swirling masses of my own head. I do have an actual confession to make, though. The name of your story, “The Twin Arrows” is the name of a local casino. I didn’t know where I had picked it up until I was idly reading the billboards on our way somewhere. I’m reclaiming it though. It’s mine, and it’s ours. (You can read the first six parts of their story and Sir Larkin’s here.They also have a slightly boring Pinterest board that will probably grow since I plan to edit this story this month.)
  • Byron–yes, I know I haven’t visited your story in five years or so. I’m stuck. But your name was one of those weird inspirations I’ll talk about for the rest of my life. It was such a part of me that I didn’t even know it was the brand name on the tag of a teddy bear. He is very noble and unique, though; so you shouldn’t be ashamed to be named after him. (And it’s really not as bad as the random Pony Express rider who was named after my pencil case…)
  • Sienna–hello, again. I want another story for you, dear; but I have many other things to do first. I believe you are named after a local resort from yet another billboard. It’s a beautiful name nonetheless, and I love it. 😉
  • Percy–you are so cool that I’m sorry you got that name. Only thing I could think of when you needed one. (At least you aren’t stuck without one like “Mr. Strathmore’s boy” or “the half-grown boy with the half-grown voice”…) And by the way, if you end up in a second story, you just got ten times cooler. I was crying over Sir Perceval’s coming to Camelot one time. Guess what your name is now short for. 😉
  • Fiddler–I love you so much that I couldn’t find a name good enough for you; so that’s the real reason you don’t have one. There’s no geeky or cool reason for the “secret” except lack of inspiration and fear of ruining your awesomeness. (I don’t think Isolde minds.)
  • Isolde–you’re name is also from the Arthurian tales, but hopefully your story won’t be as tragic as Tristan and Yseult’s. It’s beautiful nonetheless, and I’m really not ashamed of it all. (Your sister Ariel’s is one of Jerusalem’s alternate names and the name of the spirit from The Tempest. I heard somewhere that they were naming people during the 1860s from the Bible and classics, so…) (Discover their Pinterest board, but beware of spoilers.) 😉
Billboards and Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis and teddy bears, you name it! It really is delightful. 😉

But how could stories with such humble, goofy beginnings mean anything? Pencil case characters don’t impact people. I’m no cool Mr. Lewis or anything, just a crazy kid who should really be kept away from notebooks. Welcome to my thought process.

Then I remember that God is the One Who ultimately brought these ideas together. He created the wonder. As long as I am writing for Him, He will make something out of it that I could never have imagined being possible. He will use my crazy stories to change a life, even if it is only my own. So I keep writing. 😉

What inspires you?

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