1. The Naked Cowboy in Times Square playing his guitar on my first trip to NYC.
Anyone that confident can drive me to test my own limits – in my writing, thank you very much.
2. The sea lion that kept following me along the Isle of Man’s shoreline last summer.
Its curiosity and downright cuteness reminded me that everything has a different perspective and to keep testing those POV’s until I get it right.
3. The moose in my garden grunting only two meters behind me when it occurred to my husband to tell me that she was there in the first place.
Nothing will light a fire under you like an enormous wild animal on your doorstep. Now I have the power to write exactly what it feels like, sounds like and smells like to be nose to nose with the “Queen” of the Forest.
4. When I unexpectedly met children’s author Suzanne Tate for the first time and she said there was one book that I just had to read. It was already sitting on the front seat of my car on that same trip!
Are there really coincidences? I think not. Jessica Brockmole’s Letters from Skye brought two writers together that day, enabling me to weave with even greater conviction fluky circumstances into my own stories.
5. The stoplights when I was caught singing in full, theatrical motion by the driver and passenger of a neighbouring car.
A little humiliation from time to time does a writer good. Keeps us grounded. Best part was not stopping when they saw me. That’s what made them laugh! So that’s how I can make my readers laugh – be honest in my writing and open and free and spirited and the “fabulousness” in my words will shine through.
6. When an old Italian farmer clip-clopped up to me on his donkey under the Sicilian summer sun and began a full-out conversation with me in Italian – and I didn’t speak a word of it.
No matter who you are, where you’re from or what language you speak, you will always find a way to communicate. It was the perfect opportunity for the writer in me to observe hand gestures, facial expressions and even breathing – to become completely absorbed in our “conversation”, which I’m sure to the onlooker would have appeared ridiculous. It is a 20 or so minute moment I will always treasure.
7. When I looked into the eyes of the woman who had been sitting outside our local shop with a tin cup next to her, having passed her many times before.
It was humbling – that moment. It was revealing, yet secretive. It was a bucket of emotions all twisted tightly yet let loose. It was an odd sensation as though I was reading a story that wanted to be told but wasn’t. It reminded me that stories can be deeply rooted and to tread respectfully down the writing path. Everyone has a story to tell and I better darned well be authentic in voicing mine.
8. Florida’s sky on the Gulf of Mexico and its magical cloud formations.
Anything that can whisk me away like that to Never-Never Land will show up soon in my writing. Look for the cloud formation in Gillian Puglsey and how it takes my characters to another place.
9. Singing, dancing, posing, walking, thinking and staring out to sea on the rocky shoreline of my adopted home – the west coast of Sweden.
A bundle of quirky moments that time and time again teach me that I am just one person in this big world for only a drop in time – but a person with a big imagination and something to share – my stories. The sea reminds me that, like all writers, we are just trying to make it, to do our best, to tell a story that will resonate with someone and take them to another place. Most of all, the sea brings me peace and makes everything clear again. It’s a place that I feel like a child again wanting to discover, with a hope that that same feeling translates into my writing.
What are 9 quirky moments that have inspired your writing?