A lot of my work comes from what in Asia is called the 'mind of wonder.' There is not a lot of 'mind of wonder' writing in contemporary Western literature. I think that's what appeals to the readers who are my fans.
When I go to the shore, I take along the poems of Pablo Neruda. I suppose it's because the poems are simultaneously lush and ripe and kind of lazy, yet throbbing with life - like summer itself.
The one thing emphasized in any creative writing course is 'write what you know,' and that automatically drives a wooden stake through the heart of imagination. If they really understood the mysterious process of creating fiction, they would say, 'You can write about anything you can imagine.'
If little else, the brain is an educational toy.