The Amazing Octopus, Maps, Snowy days, and other inspiration from Dragonspire!

Welcome to my inspirational Thursday post!

This week Netflix binges, fun in the snow, and awesome maps!

merlin city map second chance at destiny story in progress.jpg
Image: This map? Not so awesome. A sketch I drew of one of the cities in my story in progress, ‘Second Chance at Destiny.’

But first: How did I get on with my goals this month?

Exercise and Eating:

I skipped exercise the week of my granddads funeral. The weather was terrible and I wasn’t motivated. Other than that I’ve exercised three times a week, even if it’s mostly been indoor workouts because of the persistent rain!

I’ve not been overeating too much, and I’ve resisted chocolate eggs so far. I’ve promised myself one if I win Camp Nanowrimo, consequences be damned! Watch me regret it…

Writing, Reading and Blogging:

I’ve decided to start again with my writing goals in April, with Camp Nanowrimo. Losing my granddad hit me harder than expected. I kept up with blogging, but I’ve been quiet on Twitter and not written a word on my work in progress. I’ve been reading more than usual, which was nice, and watching a lot of Once Upon a Time on Netflix!

That’s it for my goal updates. Not much to report this month!

Onto the inspiration!

Fun fact of the month:


The Octopus is as smart as a golden retriever. They can squeeze through gaps, escape aquariums, and one even figured out how to short out the electrical system at the sea life centre where he lived by shooting water at a spotlight above his habitat!

They can also kill sharks (I’d link the video, but I feel too sorry for the shark!) and can unscrew a jar from the inside. I never knew they were such interesting creatures, and they’d be fascinating to write about!

Inspiration from games:

Earlier in the month I wrote a short story for the owner of a Minecraft server, Kingdom of Time.  It was fun to write, and will become a quest line for players to complete. I’ll probably help build the locations from the story, as I have a very clear idea in my head of what it should look like!

I’ll also build places from my novels. Minecraft is a great, fun, way to visualise the locations my characters visit. If anyone else wants to play, and build locations from their own novels, they’re welcome to join. The server is more about building and socialising than anything else 🙂

Dragon Attack day no shaders
Minecraft Spawn, Kingdom of Time

Inspirational blog posts:

There are two great blog posts that stood out to me this month. E.M.A Timar listed every Author Toolbox Blog Hop post from the past year. These posts are not only inspirational, they provide many helpful tips for writers. Check out the list if you have any questions about marketing, publishing, or anything to do with writing. Chances are, you’ll find the answers there!

The second post is by Soraya Corcoran, who makes amazing maps for all kinds of worlds. I love looking at maps, and these are beautiful. If you need a map for your story she also does commissions 🙂

I’m inspired to try sketching my own world maps, even if they are a bit messy!

Inspiration from TV:

I’ve been watching Once Upon a Time this month, and I’m up to season 4. I love the characters because they’re not straightforward. The ‘Evil Queen’ has a backstory. Rumplestiltskin is dark, mysterious, and consumed by power, yet he loves Belle and his son. I’ll talk about these characters, and others, in next months Author Toolbox post, where I’m discussing what we can learn about writing from TV. I only hope my own characters are so complex and interesting!

Favourite picture taken:

do you want to build some snowmen.jpg

These snow-people. When our boiler broke during the great blizzard ‘The Beast from the East,’ I decided it couldn’t be much colder outside and dragged the fiancee out to build these. Guess which one’s mine?

My fingers were frozen after about 5 minutes, and my thin woollen gloves did little to keep out the cold. When I went back inside I struggled to get warm again, but making these, and the resulting snowball fight, was fun, and it kept my mind off the cold for a bit. It was too cold to write much, but I was inspired to scribble a little story about my characters in the snow.

I also found an icicle hanging underneath my car. I thought it was cool, so I brought it inside to stare at until it melted into a puddle on the windowsill! There’ll be an ice cave in at least one of my stories, and all these snowy pictures will provide the perfect inspiration 🙂


Finally, the Sunday Scribbles prompts for April are:

ss april prompt list
1st: Door. 8th: Criminal. 15th: Luck. 22nd: Reflection. 29th: Freedom.

Stories or lines written using the prompts can be shared under #sunscribbles on Twitter on the dates listed above, or in the comments of my April Sunday Scribbles posts.

scales divider copy

Thanks for reading!

Do you draw inspiration from games? Make maps of your story worlds? Got any interesting or weird animal facts? Any articles you’ve found inspiring? Share them below!


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