The number one question all writers get asked is, “Where did you get the inspiration to…” or “What made you think of…”

It’s a tough question to answer because many times, we’re not sure ourselves. It could be a dream, a memory, a desire, a mispronounced word, a story in a paper, and on and on and on. When you think of it, the world around us when we’re awake and the internal world we visit in our dreams are all endless fountains of inspiration.

When writing for children, it’s especially fun to get into their mindset, or recall your own when you were young. Children haven’t developed cynicism or mistrust or learned that life isn’t always what you pictured it to be. Everything they see is a wonder bordering on the magical.

As an adult with a family and a job and typical big-person worries, it’s not always easy to tap into the innocent awe of a child. When my agent asked me to write a new book in the voice of my to-be-released The Dandelion’s Tale, I have to admit that I struggled for a bit. Like quicksand, the more I fought to find my muse, the deeper I sank, until I was good and stuck.

There were about 100 ducks at my back when I took this picture.

A week ago, I went out for a long walk. I started taking pictures of nature in slumber around me.

Midway through my walk, a story began to unfold. A half hour later, I was almost sprinting to my car so I could get the words out of my head and onto the page. In the course of a one hour walk, the story I had been struggling to find found me instead. I was literally shaking with excitement.

So, on that day, a stream, a pond, some ducks and leaf-less trees were my inspiration. I can’t say what it will be for the next story, but I can’t wait to find it.