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Sources of Inspiration: Ordinary Things

Once upon a read, I was advised by another writer to make a list of ordinary things. To try to write a story, an essay, or a poem about each of them. At first I thought this was a waste of time, a way to bore readers and myself. I mean who wants to read about trash bags and kitty litter? Yes, these are essential to every day life and I’m grateful for them. Does this mean I want to read about them or write about them? When I retreat into my imagination, I was hoping for a break from … Read more

Sources of Inspiration: Ritual

The waters of creativity and inspiration are dryer and shallower than ever. You’d think trouble would be a bountiful source of inspiration. Many a writer has tapped it, creating great literature because of it. I doubt we’d have Lord of the Rings if not for World War II. It might have been a very different trilogy if not for the tragedy and changes which faced England and the world in the wake of it. We’re facing tragedy and change right now, too. Not being a particularly brave or heroic person, I want to hide from it. I yearn to wrap … Read more

Sources of Inspiration: Unreliable Narration

I can understand of someone who appears to be an average person as the narrator; like Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, or Tim Hunter. We readers and viewers are introduced to their universes right along with them. They ask a lot of the questions we have. Only none of these narrators were average, not really. Luke Skywalker was strong in the Force, connected by blood to some of its most powerful practioners. Harry Potter was the Boy Who Lived, marked from infancy by a powerful Dark Wizard. Tim Hunter had a special destiny, which led to him being stalked and recruited … Read more

Sources of Inspiration: Change

It’s easy for me to fall into a rut. I wear the same clothes and accessories. I watch certain shows. I listen to the same playlists of music over and over. It’s comforting, especially when I’m troubled by something or doubled over with pain from one of those wonderful sinus headaches which make the back of my head throb, upsetting my stomach. (I’m being sarcastic.) Only that cycle of comfortable familiarity can make my imagination sleepy. Sometimes I need to do something different to wake it up. I’ll stop reaching for the same pair of earrings I’ve been wearing for … Read more

Sources of Inspiration: Someone Else

There’s nothing quite like sharing my ideas with another person, especially someone who’ll listen and respond to what I say. Someone who offers not only positive reinforcement but interest. I get a charge of energy being around such people. More ideas pop into my head as we talk, concepts for potential stories, blogs, all kinds of projects. People are a source of creative vitality like nothing else for me. I doubt I would have gotten as far as I have as a writer if I hadn’t been lucky enough to have such people, encouraging me at various times in my life. … Read more

Sources of Inspiration: Opposites

opposites - pixabay

One of my favorite books, Something Wicked This Way Comes, derives a measure of energy from two of its protagonists being opposites. Jim Nightshade is brash, adventurous, seeking danger, half in love with the dark promise of the autumn carnival. Will Halloway is thoughtful, sensitive to the danger in the air, yet somehow more innocent because of it. All of this is expressed in exquisite, visual prose which fires the imagination, much of which might be lost to modern edits. Opposites were depicted in a very different way in Naruto, a pair of contrasting characters I became quite obsessed with. Uzumaki … Read more

Sources of Inspiration: Food for Imagination

We’re in the middle of my favorite month, a time of brilliant fall colors and my favorite grapes. It’s also the month of Halloween. If there’s a holiday I love writing fiction about, it’s this one. Vampires, ghosts, and witches are among my favorite subject matter all year around. Halloween celebrates the gothic. It’s a holiday associated with ancient crypts filled with secrets or creatures waiting to be released within banks of mist in which the undead could be waiting. Grinning pumpkin illuminate the darkness, drawing attention to smiles that are a little disturbing. All of this imagery is food … Read more

Sources of Inspiration: Writing Itself

Sometimes I’ve found the best source of inspiration is to simply pick up a pencil and start writing. Or to force myself to start typing at a keyboard. There’s something about moving my hands, putting words down on a page (or screen) even if those words are garbage. I may be tired. I may to do something else. I sit down, groaning and grumbling. I stare at what I’ve written or an empty page. I try to think of few sentences, even if they’re jarring or not quite right. I’ve found that stopping at an exciting moment, at the height … Read more