Over the years, I've tried to keep daily journals and sketchbooks. Unfortunately, I haven't been particularly faithful at either. I do, however, keep an idea book. I jot down phrases that catch my ear and/or strike my funny bone. Sometimes I do quick sketches. The entries are nothing more than that. However, I've found that the simple act of writing/sketching keeps the ideas brewing in my mind. They simmer away until they're cooked. A couple of years ago, I had written the phrase "messy sleeper" in my notebook. I was thinking about people who tear their beds apart every night vs. those whose beds are still perfectly made in the morning. There was something intriguing about that to me. It simmered for a few years.
Then, when I was a slightly delirious, sleep-deprived Mama with a newborn and feisty 3-year old, my friend asked me to take a writing workshop. I was too tired to say no. As I started to mull over story ideas, I was struck by the contrast between my swaddled newborn who slept so calmly, so neatly and my 3-year old who thrashed from one end of her bed to the other every night. I thought about the "messy sleeping" note in my notebook. I began to suspect that my 3-year old was having BIG dreams. And the story of Buglette was born.
Looking back, I suppose it’s not surprising that I wrote a book about sleep at the point in my life when I was getting the least. Now that my kids are (slightly) older, I'm finding inspiration in the piles of clothes all over their room. Hopefully this will be the upside to the loads of laundry I find myself doing lately.