‘Inspiration, where do we get it from?’

How do we get ‘inspired’?

Hang around any writer for any length of time and you’ll start hearing them talk of their ‘Muse’ and whether the ‘Muse’ is working or not, meaning whether they’re feeling inspired to write or not.


It’s one thing that a lot of writers say they struggle with. Where to get the inspiration for their work?

Where can the inspiration for a good article, or story come from?

Ask any three writers, and you’ll get at least three answers, and that’s just if you give them a few minutes only.

I’ve got two novels out now (the second was published just a month ago) and the ideas for them came from different places.


The first was a writing exercise a few years ago. I was doing a paper on creative writing and did a story about a guy stuck in a jail cell, okay the final story was very different, but that’s where it started!

Here’s the first

Sting of the Scorpion

The second was just having lunch by the lakeside in Rotorua, it just looked ‘right’ for a helicopter approaching at night, lights off, the rest you’re going to have to read the book for.

This one I’m really proud of

Scorpion’s Reach

Take a minute to think about your day, the people in the checkout at the grocery store, ever wondered what their day was like? How about the coffee shop?

Writer’s ‘block’ is real, and it does happen, but when it does there’s a few things we can do to ‘unblock’ those pipes. Anything from taking a walk to just picking up the newspaper and take a few minutes just to sit and think about what we just read, you’ll be amazed at the results.

How about this for a plot. A top secret establishment is hacked, in the hack a number of software files are stolen that then appear when they’re used to cripple thousands of companies and demand ransom, the plot is only foiled by a twenty something spotty, four eyed geek who’s still living with Mum and Dad sees the email and finds the ‘kill code’. What about that for a story? By the way, it happened this week! Just think where the story could go? Sadly I’m already working on another novel, but maybe I’ll hold that back and come back to it.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, all we need do is ‘open our eyes’ and see what they show us.

So let’s take a look around, and see where the inspiration leads.

One final thing, North Korea might actually be involved in the hacking scam…..



My wife and daughter were having a debate the other day, they were debating the meaning of the word ‘Gravity’.

One said “it’s the attractive force created when an object spins fast enough to pull things into itself” basically just like the earth does in spinning and keeping us ‘on Terra firma’

The other said it was a description of an emotion or response to a situation, like in ‘the gravity of the situation’ and the debate went from there.

Both were adamant, their view was right, according to the dictionary, and the other wasn’t!

I’m bringing this up as it’s something pretty important, not just regards writing, but with life in general. Two people, looking at the same information, seeing exactly the same thing, yet drawing a different meaning.

By the way, when we turned to the dictionary, both meanings were present, and given equal prominence, so, both were right, but not totally!

It’s the same with writing, look at a blank page, or computer screen, some will see a story of some kind, others see that article they’ve been wanting to write, others still, a poem, but it’s all writing, and it’s all creative in some way.

Writing is a great way of being creative, so let’s not worry so much about the ‘type’, let’s just get on And enjoy the craft.

Have a think on that one.



Travails of a writer

Travails of a writer.

That’s what I think I’ll call this post! Part of the ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of breaking into the world of being a writer.

Anyone who’s read my previous blogs here, know that at best, I’ve been sporadic in posting, and I wouldn’t blame you if you’re totally frustrated, but here we are again, a new plan, and new hope of making a go of it.

Actually, the reason for the ‘sporadic’ posts is simply being just too busy! Not sure I should admit that, as it probably has you thinking ‘writing, or blogging isn’t that important to him’ and heading for the electronic door.

But before you go, hold on a minute! See, I’m back, writing, posting, and with a plan. The ‘plan’ has kinda worked so far, in that I used this ‘plan’ to write my second novel!

Hey, I’m not gonna “tell you” just yet, I’ll see if you figure it out, but here’s a question. If I work a sixty hour week, in my regular job, when do I get time to write?

My Office!! (And she’s Brand new!)

For a clue, take a look at my ‘writing desk’. My guess is, it’s probably the most unusual one you’ll come across, yet I’ve used a similar one to write “Scorpion’s Reach”


Truth is, if something is important to you, you’ll find a way to do it, just like if someone is important to you you’ll find a way to make time for them!

Hey, that’s all for now, but let me know what you think in the comments below.




A pencil in God’s Hand

“I’m just a pencil in the hands of God”
This is a special week, a week when a life well lived was celebrated. Twenty years after the person departed this terrestrial ball, but a life that still impacts us today!
This week the Catholic Church celebrated Mother Theresa by ‘canonizing’ her and making her into a ‘Saint’
Think about it for a moment, one obscure nun living in a small convent in one of the slums of India, yet hers was a life that touched billions.
“I’m just a pencil in the hands of God” was often the way she’d describe herself.
Okay, apart from the reference to being a ‘pencil’ what’s it got to do with writing? Actually, for me, it’s got everything to do with it! It’s not just the love of writing, and the desire to be a ‘writer’ that keeps me going at this, but also the thought of ‘making a difference’ that really drives me.
I want my writing not just to entertain, (that in itself is a great goal) but to encourage, to inspire and hopefully to motivate people to reach beyond themselves, to become ‘pencils in the hand of God’ and write his love on the hearts of those who need it, in other words, in on the hearts of all of us.
I actually started this blog nearly a week ago but it just didn’t seem the right time to post, but now, I’m sat here at the computer and it just seems the right time to finish off.
I suppose I’ve always been one of these ‘idealists’ that wanted their life to ‘make a difference’, to help shape the world we live in and leave it a better place than when I arrived, is that too much do you think?
Mother Theresa was so special because she believed in the dignity of every Human being, no matter how poor and destitute they were, to her they all had dignity.
I too want to be that ‘pencil in his hands’ and write the things that bring us closer to him as well as closer to each other.

The Writer’s ‘Job’

“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn about love and fate, and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured!”
I would so like to claim those few sentences as my own, but they’re not. They are the opening lines in a book I’ve just started reading, the book is called “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts, and it’s a very challenging book about the time he spent in Bombay India.
Actually the book is about the human ‘condition’ but what is that ‘human condition?’
If we asked a hundred people what it was I bet we’d get a hundred and one answers! Everyone would have their idea about it, but most come to some form of compromise they agree on, but it’s not what they truly think!
To me, that’s what writing is about, as writers we get, we create the opportunities to explore all the different emotions and feelings that make up what we think and feel.
We create the opportunities to take people ‘out of their comfort zone’. To explore “What it means to be Human”
Be it the adventure story that gives people a shot of adrenaline, or a love story that takes us on the journey that love and the sometime consequences of heartbreak, or the ‘happy ever after’ they’re all part of what makes us Human, and they’re all part of what we as writers get to explore, isn’t that exciting?

An interesting perspective

“Writing is like breathing”
I’ve been trying to come up with some ‘inspiring’ thought to share on my blog all weekend, and now, just as the weekend is coming to a close the ‘MUSE’ has finally shown up giving me an idea what to write!
Actually it’s because I’ve just watched an interview by one of the greats of New Zealand literature, Joy.Cowley. she’s 80 this year and still writing!
As she was speaking she was basically saying “a writer writes because they can’t not write” it’s like a Human needs oxygen to breathe and a writer needs to write, we can’t help it!
Another thing she said was “The person who said you only live once has never read a book!”
The idea behind that one was that as we read a book it’s as if we take on the ‘lives’ of the people in that book, and for a few brief moments, as we’re reading we ‘become them!’
So how about it, do you take people to another ‘level’ or realm with the writing? It’s a great thing to aim for.
Just after the interview was another one about a young skateboarder making it big in the USA, she’s only 16 and although her Mum was terrified of some of the stunts etc Mum  said “it’s like a drug, she can’t go more than a couple of days without skating or she gets grouchy”
That got me thinking, “do I get grouchy if I don’t write?”
I know for me it starts to feel like a dam being blocked up, the sluice gates closed and pressure building, opening those gates gives life and power to a dry land, that’s what writing to me!
How about you?


                  They say there are only three constants in life. They are death, taxes and change! It’s the last one I want to think on at the moment as the first happens to us all eventually and I only know one man alive who hasn’t paid tax in thirty years and he’s running for president of the country where he hasn’t paid tax! (But he has paid an army of lawyers and tax accountants so maybe it’d be cheaper just to pay the tax?)
                   People talk about changes as if they’re a ‘necessary evil’ to be endured, but is that a good way to look at them?
                    We know they happen, so what about getting prepared for them and not just ‘enduring’ but pushing forward and even (dare I say it) helping shape those changes?
Sounds strange right? But it’s true, take a moment to think about what you want, then have a think about what it’s going to take to get there, then make whatever changes are needed.
                     For me, those changes at times have taken me across lands and to some very different cultures, I’ve had the choice of ‘grin and bear it’ and at times that’s what I did, but there’s also been the option to not just embrace the change, but take the time to ‘shape the change’
                     One phrase that I used to hear a lot, and one that I’ve sought to try and live by is that in this world there’s three types of people.
  1. Those in the news. Things happen to them and they often don’t know why. They don’t always understand it, sometimes we think of these folks as being the ‘perpetual victim’ as they aren’t in control.
  2. Those who watch the news. They see stuff happening, but it’s always to someone else and it doesn’t really affect them! The world is full of these folks, the spectators, those who sit and watch life slip by then one day they wake up and it’s too late, life has gone by and they missed their dream. They’re now at the end and no one knows who they were!
  3. Those who make the news! These are the people who make a difference with their lives, think of any well known person and you’ll come across a ‘news-maker’ but the great thing is not all of them are famous! Think of the people making a real difference in your community, they’re the news-makers and their impact is huge. They not only embraced change, they’re leading the way!

“If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got”

So what about you? which one are you? I know which one I want to be, I’ve wanted it since I was a teenager and I’ll never stop being that idealist, I’ll never stop chasing that want to be one who makes a difference, it’s just the way I make the difference might change!

Part of my dream

‘One brick at a time’

Okay, so we’ve got a dream, and we’ve decided we’re going to actually “do something about it” but how?

How do we take that idea and turn it into a reality?
A couple of years ago I was working in a stores for a vehicle manufacturer, it was a job I hated, but hey it was a job and it paid the bills (sort of).
We’d take a basic cab and chassis in the space of a month the lads there would turn that basic frame into a fully functional Ambulance, here’s how they did it, ONE PIECE AT A TIME!
Simple right?
Start at the beginning and work ‘one piece at a time!’ but which one’s the first piece?
With the Ambulances it was the floor, but they also needed screws, glue and the plywood.
It’s like that with our dreams, to build them we’re going to need the basics, and preferably someone who’s built an Ambulance before! Someone to guide us through the first steps.
How about a writing course? A good one will take you through those first steps.
Actually I was just listening to a YouTube video clip that talks about one of the first building bricks of building that dream is to actually ‘dream’ it. To get out there and actually start doing things as if you belonged in that area.
My dream is to be a writer! I’d love to be one that have to work for a living, but maybe the place to start isn’t the stopping of work but the getting out there and practicing the craft and who knows maybe even ‘having a go’ and publishing
I know some of you reading this blog have already taken those ‘first steps’ but for you I’ve got a question too. What’s your next step? How’s your preparation going?
Leave a comment below

‘Old dogs, new tricks’

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks right? I’ve discovered that’s a total load of baloney and guess what, we’re living proof that it is!

I bet most of you reading this blog have a dream that you want to achieve. Some of you might have had that dream since childhood but quite a few found it out in later life and thought ‘Wouldn’t that be great’ well guess what, it’s like teaching an old dog a new trick, and it can be done. Just ask my dog Barney.


See Barney’s eight years old and a Cairn Terrier. He’s spent the last eight years convinced that he can’t jump onto our sofa, or the chairs in the living room. We’ve spent the last eight years convincing him he can’t but a few weeks ago my beloved wife decided to change that idea and taught him that not only can he but it’s actually very warm and cozy when he does. Guess what, he learned a new trick and it’s one he loves performing which brings me to the next point, if you can teach an ‘old dog’ a new trick maybe this ‘old dog’ can learn some too!


Here we are together.

So maybe there’s a way that I can ‘learn new tricks’ like writing a blog or even writing books that people can enjoy, and maybe there’s a way you too can explore doing those things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the courage to try, after all “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or CAN YOU?

Leave a comment with your thoughts below.



Listening to the Dream

Got a dream? Have a plan. First part is listen.
Read any of the positive thinking people or anything about bringing your dreams to reality and the first thing they’ll tell you is “You need a plan!”
That’s all well and good, but how do you come up with one?
Do go sit in a corner and refuse to move until you’ve got it all written down? You might be there a while.
What about going to seminars about ‘plan making’. Are they any good?
Truth is they’re all good at the right time, but there’s the key, it’s ‘AT THE RIGHT TIME!’
‘The lot is cast on the lap, but every plan is from the Lord’ (proverbs 16 verse 33) If he’s giving those ‘plans’ then it stands to reason he’s also telling us how we can achieve them right? and if that’s so then how about taking a little while to stop and ask him “Okay God, how do we achieve this then?”
You might be one of those who don’t know if he really exists, or even don’t think he does, guess what? you can still benefit from that few moments stopping and saying “Okay, how am I going to achieve this?” and wait a while until a plan begins to come. In the end it’ll save you a lot stress later on.
These are my thoughts on the beginnings of a plan, I’d like to hear your thoughts on them, what works for you? Leave a comment below and let’s share some thoughts on it.