I don't know about you, but I prefer washing dishes with a sponge. Sponges are simple things, not deeply complicated or awkward to get along with. But they are great. They absorb huge quantities of liquid when they need to, but they also let it all out again at the slightest squeeze.
Except for the bit about not being complicated, that sounds like us writers, doesn't it? (Complicated? Who, us?)
Think about it, we absorb everything: the pitch of the irritated lady's voice in the queue ahead... the sad creases of disappointment around a little person's mouth when mom says no! to his nagging for a sweetie. The flush on the cheeks of a teen around their current crush.
Life is never boring when you are constantly surrounded by techni-colour material that will breathe life into your next bit of writing.
Even our own insides become grist for the mill... Think about it - we have ringside seats to what churns inside when bad news comes at us down the phone. How about the Adrenalin thumping, squeal-inducing good news we've been waiting for?
I'm training myself to savour and ABSORB each moment - good and bad - analyze it, tag on some appropriate words, then file it away in my mental filing cabinet for the 'write' moment. I've found inspiration in the weirdest places. No, really! Look at this:
An topographical map of a new planet? Alien skin perhaps? What about the inside of a cave wall threaded through with an undiscovered mineral that could repair the hole in the ozone layer... Tracks in soil - clues for our hero to unravel? It could be all those things.
But in reality, it is just burnt spaghetti at the bottom of a pot I forgot on the stove because I was writing. With minds like ours, it doesn't have to stay as 'just burnt spaghetti'.
Life is truly a delicious array of inspiration. Good and bad. All of it can be used.
Your turn. I want to hear about the strangest source of inspiration you've found and what you did with it.
Dianne J. Wilson writes novels from her hometown in East London, South Africa, where she lives with her husband and three daughters. She has just signed a three book contract for a YA series, Spirit Walker, with Pelican / Watershed.