Welcome to My Inventing Room
“This is the most important room in the entire factory!” he said. “All my most secret new inventions are cooking and simmering in here!”
That’s what Willy Wonka says to the lucky golden ticket finders in Roald Dahl’s famous book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
It’s my favorite book ever.
The version my parents bought for me when I was seven is full of deliciously creepy illustrations by Joseph Schindelman. I don’t think I’m exaggerating (too much) when I say I have read my copy hundreds of times. I have favorite parts, of course, like the straightforward introduction of characters, the way Wonka is equal bits authoritative, immature, and crazy, and the brilliant detail of the square candies that look round.
But the best part of the book is the inventing room.
The inventing room is the sacred room of Wonka’s factory where he proudly shows off his Everlasting Gobstoppers, where his uncontrollable toffee results in a very hairy Oompa-Loompa, where Violet Beauregard chews the gum that turns her into a giant blueberry.
When I first read this book, Roald Dahl had given me a golden ticket. Even though the door to Wonka’s inventing room said, “PRIVATE—KEEP OUT!,” as a reader, I was invited to see, smell, hear, touch, and taste this space. I was able to witness Wonka’s creative process.
That’s how I learn best as a writer and artist—I observe how other creative people create, decide what resonates most with me, and ultimately discover more about myself and my craft. That’s why I decided to call this blog IN THE INVENTING ROOM.
My inventing room doesn’t have the perks of Wonka’s. (Although chocolate often finds its way in there!) It does have a sturdy desk with a reliable computer, a cozy couch under a sunny window, and a banged-up table where messes are made. It’s where my creative process takes place. It’s where I ponder, think, jot, sketch, try, fail, sulk, try again, revise, laugh, cry, polish, and celebrate.
And unlike Wonka’s room, my inventing room does not have a Keep Out sign. Mine has an open door. This blog is a place for writers and readers of all ages, and the vast community that supports them, to discuss process, share stories, and join in the creative conversation.
So welcome to my blog! Hopefully nothing here will turn you into a giant blueberry. But wouldn’t that make a great story?
What’s your favorite book? Why does it inspire you?