There are two separate streams of inspiration that keep me pumped.
One stream consists of the work of other writers. I love being mesmerized by a great author. Right now I'm reading THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafron, a completely different type of book from the ones I normally read. Goodreads friend, Juliana Castillo, thought I would like this book and she's right! I love his language and metaphors. And the plot line is so intricately woven around this incredible story about a rare book that someone is trying to eradicate. Another book that inspired me is NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL by Justina Chen. She raised my concept of YA to a new level with Terra, the flawed and complex main character, and Terra's relationship with Jacob, a Goth Chinese boy. The second stream of inspiration comes through the students I have worked with. My story of Polarity and Ethan is total fiction, but their courage and resiliency are inspired by my former students. The overwhelming situations that I've seen kids triumph over humble me.