Fantastical Literary Inspirations 1

Enjoy our new feature: the perfect little thinking game from Annie Edge for your next writing break. Grab a cup of tea, a biscuit and get you thinking cap on to work out this riddle... It may even inspire your writing a little bit! 

We’ve all heard it: You write children’s fiction? You must be completely mad/ totally desperate / really in touch with your inner child. (Nod. Smile. Resist temptation to punch them on the nose.) This is usually followed, a little shame-facedly by: I mean you must be sooo imaginative. Where do you get your ideas?

That always gets me going.

Because really, where do our ideas come from? Do our best ideas arrived fully formed or do they come at us sideways when we are emptying the dishwasher or stuck in traffic?

Apparently, C.S. Lewis carried a half man/half goat image around with him for 25 years before putting pen to paper in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. E.B. White, on the other hand, was strolling through an orchard when the idea of a spider saving the life of his pig protagonist, came into his head. He raced to write it down.

So, time for a little fun.

Each week, I’m going to post a Fantastical Literary Inspiration. This will be completely made up of course, and a little cryptic. I’m going to start with Picture Books. You need to guess the author and the book but I’m afraid - in the true spirit of an occupation with few extrinsic rewards - there’s no prize for the correct answer. Enjoy!

Oh help! Oh no! It’s sister-in-law’s annual fancy dress party again. Where does hubby find these costumes? I mean, what is that? Purple prickles? Orange eyes?

“Darling, what on earth are you supposed to be?”

If he thinks he can disguise those knobbly knees, he’s got another thing coming. And I can see by his tongue that he’s started on the red wine already.

“They’ll ask you what you are, darling. You’ve got to come up with a name.”

All I’ve got is a set of mouse ears and a chilled bottle of white.

I’ll have a little fun.

“Tell them that’s what you are darling, a Pinot Grigio.”

The way he stares blankly at me, just look at him. Some awful spot on his nose. He should eat more vegetables and I keep telling him to lay off the puddings. God, I married a philistine who enunciates like a teenager.

“Did you honestly just say What’s a Pinot Grigio?”

Never mind.

*Feature illustration from

Annie Edge writes from flattest Suffolk where the skies are wide and blue. Once shortlisted for the East Anglian Book Award, she is now looking further afield. 

Twitter: @edge_am

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