What inspires you?

October 24th, 2008

Guess what time of year it is?

If you said the time of year when Brach’s releases all their fresh bags of candy corn, then you would be correct! I’m eating mine now. I LOVE IT.

Some people (such as those who prefer not to be named in this blog) don’t like candy corn, claiming it has no taste. I beg to differ. It tastes of candy corn, a taste that is delightful. I love Halloween because it’s the only time of year you can get fresh candy corn (which thank God is gluten free).

Now that I’ve (almost) recovered from my book tour, I keep thinking of things that happened on the tour that I wish I had handled better. My friend Beth calls this Cocktail Party Regret syndrome, which is what you get when you go to a cocktail party and then think back on your behavior afterwards (even if you didn’t drink that much), and are like, “Oh, God, I wish I hadn’t said/done that.”

Like how every time someone asked me what inspires me, I drew a blank. I should have just made something up. Like, I should have just said, “Sunsets.” (Or, like a friend of mine who is in a band says when asked the “What Inspires You” question, “Other people’s garbage.”)

Instead I just sat there going, “Um…er…uh…well…Lifetime movies, I guess? Like the one where Kellie Martin killed Tori Spelling so she could assume her identity because she was so jealous of her popularity? That really inspires me…to go downstairs…and get more popcorn….” voice trailing off lamely as reporters look at me like I’m insane.

But joking aside, I hate this question, because I have NO IDEA what inspires me. Or rather, I’m “inspired” by so many things, not just any one thing…you know, the way some dancers say they were inspired by seeing a certain ballerina at a certain age, or some movie directors say they saw a certain film and it “inspired” them to become a movie director. That never happened to me. I have no “inspiration” story for the press.

Like anyone, I enjoy reading books by other people, but they’ve never necessarily inspired me to write my own. I’ve loved them and I treasure them but I can’t say there’s one that inspired me to become a writer (except possibly Star Wars: A New Hope, although that’s a movie, of course. And mostly it just inspired my love for writing Star Wars fan fiction—when I was twelve–and bossy princesses).

Look out! The princess has got a gun!

Anyway, the other thing everyone on my tour kept asking me was what my favorite book was, and that was a little upsetting, too, because while during certain phases of my life, I’ve had favorite books, I can’t say there’s one particular book I could pick out as an all time favorite (I hate that question, “What book would you take with you to a desert island?” My answer would have to be, “A book on how to escape from desert islands.”).

I have so many favorite books, I could never pick just one! In fact, this is what the inside of my brain looks like on any given day when asked “What’s your favorite book, Meg?”:

And that’s just to name a few. I can’t even remember all the others but there’s literally TONS (check my Myspace) more. Flip through this blog and you’ll find even more. I love so many books, it’s not even funny.

But maybe that’s what inspiration is. Tons of messages coming at you from all sides, and your brain filtering them, and out popping an idea of your own.

That’s what I think, anyway.

Right now some of the messages my brain has been filtering include the Fail Blog. I know it’s a bit rude, but it’s quite funny, and I particularly like the Log Throwing Fail, which is a little mean, but I laugh every time. My favorite though is this one, which obviously isn’t a fail at all:

I also like this:

See more Natalie Portman videos at Funny or Die

Because puppies are inspiring, dammit.

But honestly, what’s MOST inspiring me at the moment?

I’m going to go eat some more and see what ideas I come up with. I can’t wait to hear what inspires YOU. We’re getting close to NaNoWriMo, so if you’re participating (and I hope you are…I am), you’re going to need some inspiration…I know I am!

More later.

Much love,

Meg