Another week is winding down, and it’s time to go all contemplative on my audience. I’m told that there’s a vast and unquenchable interest in my light bulb moment, that flash of inspiration that made Sanity Vacuum or the Zombie Bedtime Stories possible.
My burst of inspiration for Sanity Vacuum originally came in summer 2009. I was riding my bike (my primary form of transport at the time) on the way to a paid psychological studies. Basically, you spend an hour or two answering questionnaires and doing simple tasks on a computer for $20 or so. I was happy because back in my student days it meant a reprieve from eating white rice and oatmeal two meals per day for about a week.
When I exercise, my mind wanders. Usually, straight into alien/zombie invasion fantasy land. Is there anything else worth fantasizing about?
This time, though, something clicked and I had a story idea–my first ever. Conceptually, it was much different than the finished product. At the time I laughed and said “like I’d ever write a book, I saw where that got my Mom. I’m not into a stop in “Your writing is amazing but you don’t write [insert flavor of the month]. Write that and try again” land.”
I was never able to shake that mind-baby, and it mouldered in the back of my mind until 2011. I’d started writing Locked In by that point, and came across the old idea while daydreaming. I decided that the original idea would make a pretty boring book, added more characters and tweaked pretty much everything.
Then, NaNoWriMo and a month of bed rest unluckily coincided. I wrote a nice outline and character sketches and then proceeded to ignore the outline. (My outlines are the gift that keeps on giving. I could write from the same outline ten times and get ten unique stories.)
I entered it into the CQ NaNo-Virtuoso contest, and the rest is history.
As for the Zombie Bedtime Stories, Locked In (#1) was conceived when I was pacing around my home. Pacing is a nervous habit of mine, but it’s also how I think. The rest of the Zombie Bedtime Stories came out of taking summer walks, or more pacing.
That’s my secret. Pacing. It works for math problems and writing.