It always starts with this feeling, this sort of low-voltage electricity near my tailbone that just hums along beneath my skin and along my nerves until it reaches my fingers. Once the inspiration hits, I have no choice, I must go write something!
The inspiration to write, to create a story from thin air, often comes from the strangest places. At this time of year it often begins with the sight of a dogwood tree in bloom. Their blossoms remind me of lace on a wedding dress. That naturally turns my thoughts to romance, and then to writing. Sometimes it’s fun to go to the mall, sit and watch the people walking by. It’s fun to metaphorically mix and match the people walking by into the most unlikely couples.
I once had a creative writing teacher who told me when she needed inspiration she would go to a cemetery, the older the better, then wander between the graves. She’d imagine the lives lived, the history witnessed; then become inspired to write.
I have a passion for music. I can’t play worth a darn and I can’t carry a tune in the proverbial bucket. But I appreciate those who can. However, I really admire songwriters. I am often inspired by the lyrics to songs. Have you ever listened to the lyrics of the Patti Page classic, Faded Love? Oh, there’s at least one story in that song. What about Willie Nelson’s Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain? And you can easily fishbone at least four or five stories from Nickleback’s Photograph or The Beatles The Long and Winding Road.
I live on thirty acres in rural Oklahoma. Just near the eastern edge of our property stands an old, gnarled oak tree. In the fall, the western sun gilds the tree at sunset. In the winter, the tree stands naked and bare. In spring, the oak shelters the blooming dogwoods and redbuds. And the summer, it stands tall, silent, and mysterious in its age. One day several years ago, my son and daughter were out using a metal detector near the tree. Near one of its exposed roots, they found a rusted spur buried six inches below the surface. Just a spur and nothing else.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many stories I have woven in my head about the rusted spur.
So tell me, what inspires you?