Where do all of the ideas come from? From a cat’s whiskers to cat motif, from the cat’s anatomy to the perceived extinction of birds because of cats in the yard, from cat color to cat breeds and more—we cover the gamut of cat topics in this Catscapades blog.
When I was writing articles for magazines, I wrote on a huge range of topics for animal, pet, business, spiritual, health, travel, parenting, technical, foods, education, crafts, self-help, writing, youth and other category of magazine. And even my Klepto Cat Mysteries are brimming with diversity when it comes to themes, situations, premise and so forth. You never know what you’ll find as you turn the pages. Consequently, for years, people have asked me, “Where do you get all of your ideas?”
I spoke to a group of authors last night and coached both nonfiction and fiction authors to look everywhere for ideas. We can find a plethora of information and concepts on the Internet, of course, but also in our everyday life—while interacting with other people and our pets, while out walking or driving in the neighborhood, during meditation, when in a crowded mall or coffee shop. Conversations with others often bring to light an opinion, point of view, fact, or inspiration that can foster a story plot or article idea. I love eaves-dropping. Many of my article, story, book, and blog ideas come from overhearing what others are saying in line at the grocery store, brief conversations I have in passing with someone, and observing other people (as well as animals) in a wide variety of situations.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Do you remember my post on whiskers? I decided to do that after seeing the photo I took of a cat with some of the wildest whiskers I’ve ever seen. I used that photo in the blog post this week. I saw three cats wandering in a dry riverbed one day when I’d made a wrong turn. I shot a photo and created a post featuring feral cats.
As you know, I created the Klepto Cat Mysteries after adopting a kitten who carries her toys around in her mouth. Lily still does that. In fact, she just brought me baby lambie—her little stuffed lamb.
If you’re a writer or would like to be or if you are trying to come up with an idea for your supper meal or a gift for a friend, try getting out of your head and look outside of yourself for ideas. It might come from a sitcom on TV, a commercial, something in a magazine you’re flipping through in a waiting room, something someone says, your favorite blog, a newsletter you usually don’t read, a brief conversation with a neighbor… I think you get the idea.
And if you want to know what your cat’s thinking? Just spend time observing him. After a few minutes he’ll probably either walk out of the room or end up on your lap and you’ll be left still wondering what’s on his mind. Cats don’t tell, you see. They like to keep us guessing. And sometimes it’s that guess, based on the cat’s activity or lack of activity that spawns a blog or story idea for me. What’s on that cat’s mind? My imagination goes bonkers when I look into Lily’s eyes. I might start thinking about a plot where the cat is sneaking in invisible alien kittens who visit earth every third Wednesday of the month to learn the ways of earthbound cats so they can create similar mystery and cunning on their planet to liven things up for their people. Yeah, I need to stop staring at my cats. But, hey, wouldn’t it be nice if the alien kittens showed our cats how to use the litter box without spreading litter all over the house and how to stop shedding on our clothes?