I bought a small, 2-AAA battery powered, EL wire kit on the internet a while back. The pocket sized, plastic assembly fits plainly in a pocket and can illuminate 5 ft of EL wire. I wanted to figure out how the tiny form factor takes 3V DC and bumps it up to a much higher voltage, alternating signal.
There is an interesting IC on the board that does a simple job well. There is a variable clock on the power rail. By setting a pin on the clock pin high momentarily, a logic level circuit flips the timing frequency at which the power rail is connected to the gain staging (prior to the transformer). This gives the EL wire a flashing behavior.