Friday, October 16, 2009

Gifted muse for hire?

Kids and adults ask me all the time where I get my story ideas. I’m pretty sure any writer will tell you that ideas come from all kinds of places. I believe that I have some kind of invisible antenna attached to my head and it’s always on high alert. It scans conversations, crowds, text, music, thoughts, and even smells for story seeds. Some seeds end up being rotten and never sprout. Others produce droopy, lackluster results. But once in a while the antenna will pick up on a story seed that quickly becomes a bean stalk. It takes on a life of its own –reaching, twisting, blooming.

In just ten measly minutes of surfing eBay this afternoon I found listings for a magical treasure chest, a Snoopy shaped potato, a bottle of air, and tater tot earrings. Any one of these items could become the seed for a story.

I can’t say why, but I found this listing’s simplicity and honesty rather refreshing:

Sheet of paper with a red “one” on it

(And in case you’re wondering, his other auctions featured numbers 2-5. I’m not sure if he takes custom orders so if you’re partial to numbers 6 or 7, you might be out of luck.)

If I’m still not feeling inspired by the plethora of oddly shaped corn flakes or haunted dolls for sale on eBay, I could always take my chances on the “gifted muse for hire” (item # 320434007570). For a mere $50 an hour, I can enlist the services of a muse and she will help me find new ideas.

But $50 is a little steep for my budget. Instead, I’ve decided to give a guy who's selling "his two cents" a shot at my next story idea. Bidding started at 2 cents. The auction states:

I will be happy to give you "My Two Cents Worth" here's what you do...
1) Buy auction
2) Send me an email with anything you would like me to comment on
3) I will send you "My Two Cents Worth"

If I win, I’m going to ask what my next book should be about. Right now, I have the winning bid (7 cents). If this guy works out, in the future when people ask me where I get my ideas I’ll be able to tell them I buy them on eBay.

I’ll keep you posted…


Criminy. I was outbid. It seems the going rate for someone's 2 cents is 17 cents. I'm going to give it one more shot. The seller has relisted and the auction ends in 4 days.

stay tuned.


  1. That is excellent. I hope you win.

  2. Hilarious eBay auctions. Great place to mine for story ideas. Your muse is resourceful!