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DISNEYLAND

July 31, 2019

Since I was knee high to a…well, for those of you old enough to remember that cliché…I practically grew up in the shadow of Disneyland. I visited not long after the park first opened and distinctly remember Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. To this day, it’s still my favorite ride, bar none. I remember visiting my cousins in Whittier and seeing the fireworks going off in the far distance, back when the smog was not so bad and you could still see long distances. We used to go there a couple of times a year, and I still recall the original parking lot before it became California Adventure. I also recall the orange groves that used to surround the place.

I may even have a vague tie-in to the Disney studios through my mom. When she was a teen back in the late thirties and early forties, during the war, she had a dance partner who used to drag her, under age, to dances all the time. He went on to become an animator for Disney studios. He also may or may not be related to an infamous actor that’s still active today.

I grew up with Disney shows, Disney toys, Disney books and records. Who of a certain age can forget the Wonderful World Of Color? The Mousketeers? When I needed my imagination sparked, along with all the reading I did from a very early age, Disney was at the forefront. My inspiration, muse, or “polka-dot sewer,” was right there. It’s never left me.

MODERN TIMES

I’ve covered inspiration several times here at Fred Central and people often talk about that and about muses. If I were to venture into that territory, I cannot go far without a big shout out to Disney. They’ve been a big part of my life. Even when I went off and joined the Air Force, left California and the You Ess And A for Europe, that spark of imagination never quite left me.

When we finally moved back west to Las Vegas, we had a chance to revisit the original, and to me, the only real Disneyland. While I can’t really knock the other parks around the world, the original still holds the best memories and inspiration.

On visiting my parents, while still on active duty, we had a chance to go to Disneyland once in the 80’s and once in the 90’s. It helped inspire me to start writing.

To this day, when we visit the park, something about the place stirs my imagination. Something always indirectly gives me an idea for one of my books.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

While I’ve described a particular place, for each of you, it might be something different. Is it a place like Disneyland? Is it a person? Is it a city? A house? A vehicle? A train? Family life?

For some of you, maybe there is no one thing that inspires you.

In general, everything around me inspires me. I’ve talked about that a lot. However, the key, the root, especially after thinking about it, goes back to Disneyland.

Does that mean that everything I write is sparkly and G-rated?

Of course not!

However, there are certain things that you’ll always find in my work.

The bad guy always loses. The hero always wins. The hero always survives at the end.

Those are just givens for any book I write, and if they’re spoilers, so be it. Since I write mostly in series, that should be evident from the outset anyway.

My stories have positive outcomes. Always.

THAT’S Disney influence in a nutshell, regardless if I’m writing fantasy, thrillers or icky bug. That’s also regardless of the subject matter, body count or any colorful metaphors.

For you, what’s your major influence, above all, and how has it affected your writing?

SUMMARY

We don’t write in a vacuum. Our inspiration and influences come from somewhere. It filters through our personalities, experiences and whims and becomes something unique.

That’s what makes the world turn.

Happy writing!

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