I followed Johnell’s example and signed up for Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo.) I’m so glad I did! Every day I get an inspiring email full of great ideas for coming up with ideas. I really liked Thursday’s email. Pat Zietlow Miller talked about finding a picture book she really loves, and being inspired by it, not to copy it, but to get an idea of her own. She reads the book over many times looking at different aspects of it, and even buys a copy to write notes in. This helps her write better picture books. What a great idea! I’m going to do that.
Speaking of inspiration, The Secret Garden is one of my favorite books. I recently read The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. The Forgotten Garden is a bit like The Secret Garden, but written for adults instead of children. Both are about a sick child who is cured by a spending time in a garden. Part of The Forgotten Garden takes place in 1907, and Frances Hodgson Burnett, the author of The Secret Garden makes an appearance. When she is told about the secret, hidden garden “raised from ruins to help bring a delicate young lady back to health,” you can almost imagine a lightbulb blinking on above her head. She’s so interested, she has to see it. So The Forgotten Garden, published in 2008 was obviously inspired by The Secret Garden, published in 1911, but Kate Morton makes it seem that Frances Hodgson Burnett got the idea from her secret garden. How clever! And wouldn’t that take some confidence to pull off?