One of the questions most frequently asked on a school visit is ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ It is both the easiest and most difficult question to answer. ‘Everywhere’ and ‘All around me’ are my first answers. But what does that mean? What inspires one person may be hardly noticed by another. What inspires on one day, may fail to do so on another. Sometimes ideas pop like the cartoon light bulb – fully formed and brightly shining. Other times a sound, an image, some words spoken will zing an idea into life. Like many writers, I’ll jot down ideas, collect pictures, cut out newspaper articles and store them for inspiration. Photos will do it too. Sometimes what they will inspire is unclear, they just catch your eye and invite a closer look.

tractor in pygamas
This photo is one of those…a tractor in pajamas. Will it inspire a piece of writing? Who knows? But meanwhile, I just like looking at it.