I make no secret of the fact that I get inspiration from the oddest places. I also talk quite a bit about it. This will make the fourth installation of my series on inspiration. What brought this on? As circumstances colluded this time, it happened to be the happiest place on earth.
First off, I feel so fortunate to be close enough to visit a place I originally went to when I was four or five years old. I still remember sitting in a Toadmobile with my dad on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Every year we’ve been able, since moving to Las Vegas, I’ve snapped a photo out front of the ride with my grandson. We sit in the Toadmobile they have out front when you come out the exit door.
I remember when Nikita Khrushchev tried to visit the park back in the late 50’s, I think it was, but the state department refused him entry, citing “security concerns.” That was total bull. They just didn’t want the commie pinko faggot junkie doper to get any positive publicity out of the park.
We used to go there every year or two the entire time I grew up in Southern California. Those trips to the Wonderful World Of Color are still a strong memory for me. In many ways, they inspired me even way back when.
There was the Zorro costume I wore around the trailer park we lived in in Lompoc. My mom made it for me. On one trip to Disneyland, I copped a plastic epee and went around stabbing everyone in the ass with it. Maybe the reason I still have a moustache today is because of the fake one I used to have back then, care of Guy Williams, the actor who used to play Zorro.
Then there’s the Zorro album, or more correctly, The Songs Of Zorro And Others which had a lot of classic TV soundtracks from Disney TV shows, almost all of which I watched on the good old black and white TV. I still have that album!
The park is pure fantasy, from the Cinderella castle:
To the Matterhorn:
Since we go every year, why now? Why is this year any different? True, I’ve mentioned Disneyland in past installments of this series, but haven’t been able to act upon it. Well, I haven’t been writing anything new for quite some time. I’ve been editing stuff already written. That’s the biggie.
Though I’ve been writing these very weekly articles as well as my autobiographical articles for Let’s Talk Nevada, I haven’t worked on either my fantasy or adventure thrillers or even icky bug (as far as anything new) for a while because I already had stuff in the can, so to speak. While I like to catalog ideas in my head, I already had a bunch of stuff stored away in my mind for book three of Meleena’s Adventures. In fact, against my normal routine, I actually wrote a few key things down on a yellow sticky which is now hanging above my computer monitor!
Folks, that is almost unprecedented for me. However, given my new writing habits over the past six years, I’m forced to write at least a few things down since I can’t write several hours a day like I used to.
Now, since I just started book #3 of Meleena’s Adventures, having turned in book #2, Gods Of The Blue Mountains to the publisher last month after a very detailed self-edit, I can now concentrate on writing something new in fiction again (except maybe another one-off short story here and there). Since I’m in writing mode, I have the ability to pull things out of the air, even refer to the ideas I wrote down when the time comes.
INSPIRATION – WHAT DID I COME UP WITH?
Here’s where I have to be careful and not give away spoilers!
To start off, I got a huge slap in the face going through Pirates of the Caribbean not once, but three times. Yup, because we went on a slow day, we were literally able to walk right in after a five minute wait. So, we returned several times. We love that ride! Going through there, I came up with an idea. The second time, it became a little more solid. By the third time, I didn’t even need to write it down.
No, I’m not going to write a Pirates clone. It’s just the seed for something else.
The Haunted Mansion. Same thing. We went in and I got that tingly feeling, especially since the “doom buggy” kept stopping for one issue or the other. We went on it twice.
Now, the oddest inspiration came on the drive home.
On the northbound 57, the Orange Freeway, we got stuck behind a tanker truck with a bad decal job at 5 in the morning. I looked at those crappy decals with the incomplete letters and voila! I got the name for a character!
That one I did write down.
Folks, you never know where these things will come from.