Regarding “inspiration.” First of all I really do not think that I was inspired to write or to be a writer. As a kid, I just liked to write “stuff”. I believe the inspiration comes after the fact. For example, two six-year-olds might simultaneously begin taking piano lessons. One has no interest and just goes through the motions. The other is intrigued and plods forward. The first falls by the wayside. The second begins to play and understand the music and the instrument. Lo and behold, here comes the inspiration to create his own music, to tap those keys making his own sound in his own way. So, for me as a writer, the inspiration to write about different things and say things in my own way came about because I liked to write to begin with. I scribbled this and I scribbled that and kept on scribbling. For me, there were long pauses between the scribbles but I never lost the desire to scribble and kept at it.
The way I see it, inspiration is triggered by the people, places and things that we encounter and experience. A friend of mine might introduce me to a friend of theirs and my mind will begin a journey, intrigued by the way that person said, “Hello”, or by the manner in which they looked at me or the clothes they were wearing or whether or not their shoulders were slouched or not. They will be unconsciously placed in my mental Rolodex for future reference as a possible character and I do not even know it at that moment in time. Some one else would never give that person a second thought.
In the final analysis we are all different, all unique and I guess we all have inspiration that fits who we are. Some of us join forces with our inspiration (some call it Muse), others may talk about it for awhile and others ignore it completely. We certainly are interesting creatures.
Lastly, you asked me to give you an idea about books I read to relax. What I do is, I go to my library and they have a rack of used books in the children’s section. Many of them are YA novels. They are older books and are all for sale. They charge about 25 to 30 cents per book. I picked up four yesterday afternoon. Total cost, including tax, $1.29. That will be my reading for the next week or two. It’s great.