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by Josh Funk
Yesterday, Tara told us to be mindful and also to daydream. Mindfulness and daydreaming may seem like opposites; pay close attention to the world…and pay attention to only what’s in your head. And just to prove that ideas come from anywhere and everywhere, today I’m going to suggest you do a third thing—something right in between.
Only half concentrate on what you’re doing. Space out…a little. Don’t pay too close attention. You know you’re gonna anyway. You’re probably multi-tasking while you read this post; maybe you’re exercising (good for you!) or driving (please pull over before continuing. Seriously.), or in the bathroom (hey, that’s where I’m writing this!).
Today I’m going to tell you why I love otter car wrecks. Sorry, I meant autocrrects. Bah! I mean autocorrects. And typlos. Seriously? AUTOCORRECTS AND TYPOS! And how they can inspire goofy, absurd, and sometimes preposterous creativity.
Do you want a robust hobbit dude?
Why wasn’t I invited, poo-head?
I solved your evil baristas.
I said or wrote all those things over the past few years…sort of.
I like to think that I have pretty good hearing. But if you ask my wife, she’ll tell you I’m not the best listener. I clearly wasn’t paying close attention when I thought I texted my wife, “Do you want to go out for food?” but ended up asking her about a chubby cowboy creature from middle earth. While a book about a hobbit is probably copyright protected, I’ll be there’s a market for LOTR fan-fiction.
When Anna Staniszewski told me in gchat that she was having a book launch, I responded with what I thought was, “Why wasn’t I invited, though?” I can’t say that I didn’t not not start working on a manuscript about a birthday party for an anthropomorphic piece of—wait, never mind. As Tara always says, don’t give away your ideas.
And I honestly have no idea what I said when Siri searched for those evil baristas. My best guess is that I wanted a burrito. But I made sure to write it down because a villainous coffee artisan sounds like a perfect future foil for Inspector Croissant!
So use those absurd auto-corrects to your advantage. If you mishear someone speak, maybe what you think you heard will bear a brainstorm. It may seem nonsensical now. But definitely write it all down. For all you know, a typo isn’t just a typo—it’s your subconscious genius giving you an inspirational kick in the barista.
Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as picture books, such as Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast and its upcoming sequel The Case of the Stinky Stench along with Pirasaurs!, Dear Dragon, It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk and more! This morning he started drafting a book about otters getting into car wrecks.
Josh is a board member of The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA and the co-coordinator of the 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conference. He has a 12 Step Guide to Writing Picture Books in the ‘Resources for Writers’ section of his website. Josh grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes picture book manuscripts.
Josh is terrible at writing bios, so please help fill in the blanks. Josh enjoys _______ during ________ and has always loved __________. He has played ____________ since age __ and his biggest fear in life is being eaten by a __________.
Josh is giving away one signed & personalized copy of each of his three books: Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, Dear Dragon, and Pirasaurs!—one each to three lucky winners.
Leave ONE COMMENT below to enter. You are eligible to win if you are a registered Storystorm participant and you have commented once on this blog post. Prizes will be given away at the conclusion of the event.