Inspiration for a good story can come from anywhere.

Watching children play.
An argument with a spouse or friend.

All it takes is observant eyes and an open mind for the ordinary, mundane things in life to inspire what you write.

Finding inspiration to carry on with living an ordinary, mundane life can be a bit harder to find.  For me, though, I don’t have to look much further than my own home to find the perfect inspiration to keep moving forward, no matter how ordinary, mundane, and even unfair my life can be.

My inspiration comes from my mother, Irma McFall.

My mom is a wonderful woman.  Sure, a lot of girls say that about their mothers.  Maybe I am a little biased, but I think she is the most amazing woman ever to live.

I wouldn’t have admitted that 20 years ago.  As a teen, the last thing I wanted anyone to know about me was my admiration for my mother.  I would have been mortified for anyone to know that I wanted to grow up to be just like her.  But it was always there, in the back of my mind.

Whether I showed it or not.

Lynn and Irma
When I was six, I came close to losing her.  Mom was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her left hip.  She was 34 years old and had six daughters, ranging in age from 16 down to 3.  Imagine the fear that must have flowed through her when the doctors said her cancer was often fatal and they held out little hope for her recovery.  The doctors wanted to operate.  But they told her there was a good chance that she would not survive the surgery.  If she survived, she would lose her leg.  If she kept her leg, she would not be able to walk again.  How easy it would have been to give up.  The doctors didn’t hold out much hope, so why should Mom have any hope?

Mainly because her hope did not come from doctors.  Mom has always had a strong faith in God.  She looked at her daughters and then looked to her God.  Death was not an option.  Confinement was not an option.  She was young and had too many things that she wanted to do with her life, too many things she wanted to see her daughters do.  Mom didn’t heard what the doctors said, but she didn’t put much stock in it.  Her five foot, one inch body was filled with a determination to live, to thrive, to beat the disease that wanted to bring her down.

And she did it.  Last week, I sat beside her at the kickoff rally for our local American Cancer Society Relay for Life.  Thirty years cancer free.  That is so inspiring to me.  No matter what life throws at me—and trust me, it has thrown me more than a few curveballs—I know that I can overcome it.  Nothing I have faced compares to what Mom has.  She has come out of it, smiling and just as determined to enjoy life as she was 30 years ago.

My newest novel Miracle Play deals with a 10-year-old boy who is battling leukemia.  I tried to capture just a little of Mom’s strength and determination in that little boy.  Not sure that I did a good job, though.  I am not sure words could ever fully capture Mom the way I’d like to.

To honor her, I am donating a portion of the proceeds from Miracle Play to the American Cancer Society.  Mom has celebrated 30 birthdays since her diagnosis.  I want to help others to reach that same goal.
I love you, Mom.  I pray for at least 30 more years to show you how much.

Guest post by Lynn McMonigal


  1. Thanks for hosting me today! I appreciate the chance to share a little of my writing and my life.


    1. You're very welcome Lynn. I wish you all the best with your book and hope it raises lots of money for this worthy cause.

  2. Hi there Lynn, such a wonderful view of your mother. Very happy to get to read this. Thanks for letting us know about your blog. Love Jen

  3. its truly inspiring like the topic....


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