Friday, September 23, 2011


The internet offers endless options for wasting time. Email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, tabloid trash—all that marvelous messing around can be done so discreetly on your PC, laptop, iPhone, iPad that one can be entertained almost anywhere. And don’t even get me started on the glories of my Kindle! But I also check in on BBC news, the New York Times headlines, NPR, and other information sources daily. Although I believe it’s important to be informed, there’s an ulterior motive to scanning the news stories. I’m looking for material. Yep. Ripped from the news inspiration for stories current and future. And when I find something intriguing, I print it out and stash it in a notebook so it won’t be lost.
These items aren’t about bizarre crimes or acts of valor, of accomplishments or warm, fuzzy human interest stories that make you go aaaahhhh. They’re, well, irresistibly odd bits that strike my imagination with titles like these:
Antimatter caught streaming from thunderstorms on Earth – I mean, how cool is that?
Playful dolphin strands New Zealand woman and NZ dolphin rescues beached whales – inspiration for my Caribbean set WIP about disappearing marine mammals
Will we all be tweaking our own genetic code? – Can I make my legs longer and avoid turning into my mother? I mean, what a fabulous sci-fi premise!
Suriname, South America’s Hidden Treasure – Suriname’s in South America? Really? Who knew? I’m seeing another offbeat setting coming on.
New emotion detector can see when we’re lying – This story is dated 9/13/2011 and yet Hollywood did this in SALT last year. But the story has back-up and pictures! Schwing!
‘Multiverse’ theory suggested by microwave background – A multiple-universe theory I can so use for something
Do Narcissists Know They Are Narcissists? – What writer isn’t going to jump on this one?
So has anything struck you with inspiration lately? (Photos of Hugh Jackman and Paul Walker don’t count unless you post them!) 'Fess up. Inquiring minds want to know!


Amanda Stevens said...

May I suggest Whitley Strieber's Unknown Country for some weird stuff. The evil gene premise for The Whispering Room came from there. :)

Lark Howard said...

Thanks, Amanda. Loved The Whispering Room! I'll put that site in Favorites under Weird Stories.

Jeanna Thornton said...

Maybe you should joint me on Westheimer this weekend while I go junking in Montrose area. Always hear everyone's story and its always weird!! :)

Amanda Stevens said...

LOVE junking in Montrose. So much inspiration!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

What's stuck with me lately is a NY Times story about an autistic young man trying to find his place in the world.
I'm also puzzled by the personalities on this season's Project Runway. Why do so many of them have a problem with Bert?

Jan Crow said...

Unknown Country is a great website. Also, recently while taking a class, we used The Onion website to gather information for a character study. That proved to be a new resource for me. Quirkiness.

Great blog, Lark.

Lynn Lorenz said...

Pat, I agree. What's up with the hating on Bert? Love that show, but I have to go to my neighbor's to watch it. We save them up and watch them back to back.

Great blog - when asked where I get my ideas, I usually say...real life. Nothing is weirder or more twisted. What mischief people can get into is never ending and mind-boggling.