Walking down the marina in San Diego my eye caught the name of a boat. The muse. I found my muse! Granted, he manifested a tad different than I had imagined but I took his/her/its picture, just to be sure.

Then hopped on a plane to my next destination, New York, where I will attend the Winter Conference of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.


To pass time on the flight I decided not to write but to read. A friend had recommended I read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, a book that I had missed when it first came out – at that time my mind wasn’t into anything jesty with a two-year-old who had a tendency to stop breathing, causing a reading attention span of about two words.


Anyway, I read on the plane. But reading invariably leads to writing with me. A switch that happens when a word I read hooks in my brain and starts spinning scenes.

How that works?

I read a line in Infinite Jest about two tunnels radiating from a certain point. The word ‘radiate’ hooked in my brain and started spinning: radiate -> rays -> sun -> explosion -> explode and WHAM! a scene unfolds where one of my characters explodes because someone fucks with his mind (it might be that the mind-fuck idea sparked from the word ‘tunnel’ which kind of leads to a vision of someone crawling under your skin and into your brain).


This word-hooks-in-brain thing happened a gazillion times during the flight. So, the reading is slow but I have some quality scenes to write today. I’m pretty sure my muse isn’t that boat in the marina but somehow traveled with me to New York.