Weird Moments of Inspiration

on July 2, 2012 in Misc

You know, taking the trash and recycling out isn’t my idea of a romantic literary exercise.  Walking the short distance from my building’s back door to the alley just ain’t the kind of chore that would inspire anybody.

So someone please tell me why, as I schlepped along with smelly bags in hand, a gorgeous piece of inspiration hit me out of nowhere.  Suddenly I knew exactly how to fix a major plot problem in a manuscript I haven’t even worked on in a couple months.  It was a clear, simple, perfect idea that seemed to float down out of the evening sky and into my head where it lit up my brain and made me go, “That’s it!”

I mean, I wasn’t even thinking about my story, but here came the inspiration anyway.

It’s a good thing I’m making some literary progress because Layla action-wise, not much is happening. I haven’t really had the energy for much anything with the 100+ temperatures, which should finally end later this week. Meanwhile, hundreds of glorious firefighters have conquered the worst of the fires here in Colorado.  What real-life action heroes they all are.

My biggest physical news is my discovery that I’ve put on a few pounds in the last few months.  I discovered this the hard way when I tried to fit into a couple of my summer pants.  Since I can’t afford to get a new wardrobe, the fat’s gotta come off in the next couple weeks.  I figure I’ve lost all of two pounds so far (hey, I just started this diet ten days ago), and a couple articles in the New York Times are helping me.  The title of one piece is “Which Diet Works?” ( and the other is “What Really Makes Us Fat” (

Turns out that the standard low-fat diet the medical establishment has been pushing for years doesn’t work very well and may not keep the fat off.  Instead, the low-glycemic diet, which allows for twice as much fat (40 versus 20 percent of total intake),  is much more effective and better for you.  At the more extreme end is the Atkins diet, or ultra low-carb, which sounds to me like it’s good for people in the short term but once some of the weight is off they should switch to the low-glycemic one.  All of this is based on the fact that not all calories are equal.  One hundred calories of apple will behave differently in your body than one hundred calories worth of croissant.  And I love croissants, damn it.

Yeah, I know – this diet talk isn’t glamorous action hero stuff, and it has no literary value. But it’s practical and helping me so I’m passing it on.

Anyway, I’m ending this with a writing question: Did you ever get some great inspiration at the weirdest moment?

10 Responses to “Weird Moments of Inspiration”

  1. I’m trying the “Eat Clean Diet” with my friend Meg. It seems to be working okay. I’ve lost 3 pounds.

  2. Helena says:

    Michael — I’ll look that one up. Hope it goes splendidly for you.

  3. Ciara Knight says:

    I’m trying to start walking again. I need exercise more than anything, but my husband loves treats. I need to learn to ignore his evening treat and I’d do much better. :)
    Good luck with the diet.

  4. Helena says:

    Ciara — Evening treats are deadly. My latest is marshmallow chocolate cookies, which I really do have to give up.

  5. Old Kitty says:

    Hoorah for inspiration in the most unexpected of places and in the midst of the most unglamorous of activities!! LOL!! Shows your writerly mind is never asleep and is cranking away even when you think it’s given up! Good for you!!

    Good luck with your dieting – slowly and steadily is what I say. Take care

  6. Kelly Fitzsimmons says:


    It’s good you are leaning towards the more fat, less carb approach. Detoxing your body from sugar makes low carb dieting very easy to maintain. Don’t go Atkins, it’s too hard to maintain.


  7. Helena says:

    Old Kitty – Isn’t if funny when inspiration can hit? I should take out the trash more often.

  8. Helena says:

    Kelly — And it’s so hard giving up most of my bread and carbs! But I am feeling better so giving up on most f the sugar is definitely helping.

  9. Ketutar says:

    Atkins is mostly misunderstood. You are not supposed to be on strict non-carb diet for more than a week or so. After that it is low-carb (with carbs they mean the starches, “white” carbs, like wheat and sugar), GI, paleo-diet :-)
    “Clean eating” is on the same lines, and it works too.
    I’m eating small meals every 2-3 hours between 7AM and 7PM and nothing during the night, and drinking quite a lot of water.
    I was walking and everything was going fine, but then I got some sort of exhaustion damage in my foot and now it’s hurting too much for me to walk :-(

    Inspiration – the more I see, read, experience, find out, notice, the more inspiration hits me. I love my dreams. I might not actively remember them, but my mind mixes the daily stimulation into a wonderful, fascinating soup, and it’s there somewhere, so when I write, it’s from that soup I’ll ladle :-D

  10. Helena says:

    Ketutar — I’m not really on Atkins, but I have cut back seriously on refined carbs and sugar. I’ve heard about clean eating and I might look into that, though more for cleaning up my system (I don’t eat enough veggies) and feeling healthier.

    I’ve always munched every few hours too! I’ve always liked “grazing,” and I learned as a teenager with older sisters who always seemed to be dieting that I shouldn’t eat for a couple hours before bed. That’s a tip that’s definitely helped over the years. Anyway, I’m just trying to lose a few pounds which have mostly taken up what seems to be permanent residence around my waist and thighs. It never settles in my bust, damn it.

    Isn’t it funny where and when we can get inspiration? My dreams don’t really inspire me though because they tend to be very surreal or just plain weird. A lot of emotional repressions or fears come out in them too.