Category: Daily Inspiration

Unlikely Allies

  Finding pictures of unlikely animal friendships has become unfathomably trendy lately.  While I generally find these pictures of interest, this one particularly caught my eye.  How did the baby elephant end up on a broken log overhanging a river?...

Begin it Now – Goethe

Today’s inspiration comes from Goethe and deservedly ranks as one of the best inspirational quotes of all time.  It is so well stated that I have little to add to it today: Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to...

Unorthodox Spells & Drunken Dragons

One of the things that regularly grabs my attention when reading fantasy books/magazines/articles/pitches/short stories is the utter lack of creativity that I see from magicians/wizards/mages/witches when casting spells.  Okay, I admit, when I played D&D as a kid, fireballs were...

Shark Skin Swim Suits?

Alright Sci-Fi fans – here is another reason to be excited about the future: shark skin swim suits! 3D printing has now replicated shark skins – a feat that scientists have failed to accomplish for many years now.  Thanks to...

Lost Heroism?

I have tons of dragon pictures.  I also have a number of friends who would be embarrassed on my behalf to learn that I admitted that in a public forum!  Among that large compilation of pictures, I find myself wondering...

Madness

Every once in a while, a great storyteller comes up with a fresh approach to a character.   As I think back to some of the most refreshing and unique characters I’ve read about or watched onscreen, one character really...

Underwater Waterfalls

Mauritius Island boasts one of the very few and indisputably breathtaking underwater waterfalls in our world.  One glance is all it takes to see why. I’ve looked it up on a number of sights because they call the waterfall an...

African Red Mud Hair

One of my favorite roommates in college was a guy named George. As I recall, his mother was Irish and his father was Kenyan – an interesting mix for sure – and he was from Hawaii.  There are a few...

Well Borrowed is Well Composed

One of my lease favorite composers (Arnold Schoenberg) penned these words: “Well borrowed is well composed.” He is indisputably right.  Modern viewers almost undoubtedly prefer the Matrix to Plato’s Cave despite the fact that Plato came along much earlier than...

Universal Languages

Years ago, I toured China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines with BYU’s Wind Symphony.  Unlikely enough, I was featured playing a solo on a tenor saxophone. While touring, my favorite part of each performance was when the rhythm section...

Crazy Trees

I often think that Asians are very lucky.  I spent a month in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines several years ago.  It was the opportunity of a lifetime but it forever made me jealous of their land.  They...

Out of Africa Wildlife Park

I’ll never forget the fateful day I went to the Out of Africa Wildlife Park – twenty years ago. Between the inspirational stories, the albino baby tigers, the baby lion that wouldn’t stop biting the sore bottom of a surprisingly...

Pachyderm Darwin Awards

Hmmm… Is this a photoshop job or not? The headlines are flooding in: Thirsty Baby Elephant Drowns Self Elephant Banned From Beach After Failing to Keep Its Trunk  Up This Year’s Darwin Award Goes to …   The image comes...

Fallen Dragon

Although I don’t find the dragon armor or the dragon visage particularly inspiring, I thought I would share this image because it does a fabulous job of instantaneously conjuring up a story.  After all, what creatively inclined kid doesn’t dream...

Unified Weapons Master

I’m an avowed UFC fan.  Most of my friends find that revelation quite shocking but despite my very real fandom, I’ve been somewhat annoyed over some developments in the MMA community.  A growing number of fans are beginning to believe...

Red Angel

If you google angel art (or shortcut and go straight to DeviantArt.com), you’ll run across tons of angel artwork spanning from the bloody awful to the doldrumous ordinary to the exquisitely inspiring.  Today’s inspiration comes from a relatively new and...

Twinkle & Icingdeath Weaponry

There are lots of fantasy swords out there. Many of them are so over the top that it is difficult to find them very inspiring. Others are cool looking but upon closer inspection, you have to feel a little disappointed....

Steampunk

Steampunk

Author communities often ask questions like: where do you come up with cool names? cool world-building ideas? magic systems? and clothing? To the latter question, one must at least offer an honorable mention to steampunk. Looking for an interesting Alice...

Fear of the Unknown

I woke up grumpy today so today’s authorial inspiration comes from H.P. Lovecraft, one of the great masters of scary fiction: The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear...

Willy Claflin

I perform nearly every year at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in Orem, Utah. While everyone has their favorite teller for various reasons (comedic, historical, lovable, liar-able, etc.), I have yet to find a young child who didn’t love Willy Claflin...

Pregnant Women

I was reminded the other day of something my son said to my wife when he was very young.  She was looking and feeling very pregnant and had been teaching our children about the importance of eating healthy foods and...

Uber-Villain

Bad guys are a dime a dozen but something about this illustration whisks my imagination away to discover an uber-villain beyond comparison.  Noseless – perhaps only because the stench of Hades is so strong – this uber-villain doesn’t really need...

World’s Worst Similes

Over two decades ago, I came across some similes that ignited my imagination – not because they were particularly poetic or because they were particularly profound … they ignited my imagination because they are particularly creative in their use of...

Sinkholes

I found this Guatemalan sinkhole image on a site that seemed to suggest that it came from the Associated Press. Here is another one from New Zealand: Given the immediate drama of these photographs, it surprises me that sinkholes have...

Blood Falls, Antartica

Any aspiring fantasy author ought to have one of those “Wonders of the World” type books to look to for inspirational settings for their stories – whether they take place on earth or some other place.  There are enough truly...

Shakespeare Slams

In modern film, we usually find very bland, direct slams and insults.  Occasionally, a marginally subtle and humorous attack is aimed towards a dense character who fails to understand the biting remark but rare are the times when ad hominem...

Moon 514: the Magic Woman

Every once in a while, I come across an idea or image that seems to write a story for me. The above image is one of those images. Some time ago, I was pondering over the success of the Star...

Moon 514 – the Magic Woman

In keeping with my last post (about refined and beautiful things), here is one of several gestures from Grant M. Hansen who is painting the cover for my upcoming book Moon 514: Blaze and the White Griffon. Here are some...

Refined & Beautiful Things

I’m obsessed with beautiful things. I’m currently listening to my “inspiring” playlist on itunes. I own a butterfly store. I collect beautiful images for my screensaver and I have beautiful sculptures, feathers, shells, and various forms of art all over...

Butterfly Display at Museum

I co-own thebutterflystore.com. My partner and I have been working like crazy to do a huge butterfly display for BYU’s Bean Museum. The image above is the morpho flight that we are doing – in progress. I’ll be adding a...

Throwing Kisses

One thing I enjoy about comedians is that they try to look at the world from outside the box. Thinking outside the box can change our paradigms. Some of those paradigm shifts are life changing – others are simply delightful....

Art by Gameco

In my database of inspirational images, I have a fair number of creative merfolk.  While most artists use standard fish tails, several use tentacles and a very rare few use jellyfish motifs. However, I haven’t found a single other well...

Punctuality

I’ve always appreciated people who are punctual but I couldn’t help laughing when I read Evelyn’s quote. However, you should be careful before joining in my mirth: this may be a controversial topic.  Surveys have shown that some business executives...

Raistlin Majere

As a teenager, I was probably more drawn towards the Dragonlance series than any other work of fantasy – though the Shannara series may have been a close second for a season.  Something about Raistlin drew me in.  Despondent, cynical,...

I Just Wear White to Mock You …

Attending various “Cons” can be quite an eye opening experience in many ways.  Everywhere you turn, you can expect to see celebrities, die-hard fans, outlandish costumes, amazing artistry, pathetic artistry, bad humor, good humor, and just about anything a fantasy...

James Wolf

It’s happened twice in my recent past: I’ve seen a picture and thought “Now I have to rewrite a scene to match that painting!” James Wolf’s picture above made me want to rewrite a scene in Moon 514 where a...

Go Smiley Game

I have a good friend (Jaime Buckley) who writes full time.  He doesn’t just write books – he authors games.  Normally, I’m not the type who really enjoys games (I make very few exceptions to the “I don’t play” much...

Sweet Talk

“You talk so sweet I bet you have to suck on salt for half and hour to get the taste of sugar out of your mouth.” In “Seventh Son,” there are several places where dialogue typical of the eighteenth/nineteenth century...

Andreas Rocha

Looking through my files of favorite images, I ran across this one.  It wasn’t my intent to feature Andreas Rocha again but this painting caught my eye because it so immediately guides the mind towards a story.  In fact, the...

Cool Mage

I wish I knew where this picture came from – if you know the illustrator, please let me know so I can drop him a link … and perhaps hire him someday. When I first saw this illustration, I immediately...

Don’t Try …

Today’s laugh comes from Homer Simpson’s epic misquote of Philippians 4:13: Trying is the first step towards failure. Or, maybe he was simply trying to get a job at despair.com. If you haven’t checked out their site before, give it...

Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my...

Ouch!

I don’t recall when I found this quote or what it was regarding but I remember thinking that it was the work of a very clever word smith who thinks outside of the box: “Strictly speaking, … [what they are...

Opportunity

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas A. Edison True hundreds of years ago and still true today … although they may not have called them overalls hundreds of years...

Blaze

Here is my inspiration.  Like I said, I think the artist’s name is Tes Akizhao.  Apart from the cool armor and the spear instead of a staff, this could be a portrait of me.  Perhaps when I get my portrait...

Andreas Rocha

This painting (used to be here) makes me want to write a story.  It immediately engenders a subtext of two civilizations: one who lives a precarious life upon a luscious cliffside land that is barely large enough to provide the needs...

Gallagher

“Don’t you wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence? There’s one marked ‘Brightness,’ but it doesn’t work.” Gallagher So true – the obvious remedy of course is to cozy up to a good thriller....

Bliss

Obsessively, I collect names for future characters, categorize them (male/female; exotic/common, etc.), and keep them safe for future use.  One day, I was looking over names based upon nouns (Canyon, Meadow, Candle, Kale, etc.) and was trying to think of...