Last year I bought a notecard with a drawing I liked at a bookstore in Sunnyvale, California. The inside is blank, but the picture on the front of the card shows five animals sitting atop a multi-colored, patchwork carpet with tassels at each of the four corners. The animals and the carpet are flying high above the mountains and city lights below, while a starry night sky and a yellow, crescent moon are visible behind them. The drawing is a reproduction of a water-color painting titled “Magic Carpet,” by Anna Shuttlewood.
I liked the painting because it provided me with inspiration for a new children’s story. Three of the animals look like they might be wolves, and I’ve always loved wolves. There is also a small, brown hedgehog sitting near one corner of the carpet next to an even smaller white mouse. What fun they must be having! Imagine the possibilities this painting provides for story ideas!
I also have a few other children’s stories in various stages of development. Over twenty years ago, I started writing a story titled, Caleb – The Vegetarian Dragon. This story is almost finished – the ending just needs a little work. The funny thing about the Caleb story is when I first sat down to write it, I wasn’t envisioning a story about a vegetarian dragon – or any type of dragon. My very first story inspiration came from a Charles Schultz Peanuts cartoon. The cartoon shows Snoopy sitting on top of his doghouse typing away on an old-fashioned typewriter. He starts his novel with the words, “It was a dark and stormy night,” yet he never seems to write any more than those first seven words. Anyway, those were the first words I wrote down on paper when I first started writing all those years ago, and now of course they are long gone – replaced by a story about a vegetarian dragon.
I have a few other story ideas – a children’s series inspired by my dog Savannah, and a story titled The Pillow Thief, inspired by my husband John. I haven’t finished these either. One of these days I will publish all of my children’s stories, but until then, I remain inspired!