This month my writing group’s blog discussion is about Muses and Inspiration. Where do ideas come from? The answer will be different for everyone. It’s important to keep yourself open and always searching; there’s an idea hiding in every nook and cranny of this world. They are just waiting for the right person to find them and bring them to life.
Now, let’s get personal… Well, allow me to get personal. I have found that inspiration will hit me over the head without warning in the strangest places and so I make sure to always have with me a way of recording these assaults. The program I have found most useful is Evernote. I’m not going to go into a sales pitch, but I do recommend checking it out. It’s an app that syncs between your phone and computer and you can make notes via text, email, voice recording or your camera. I’m not letting any idea get away from me!
I remember driving home from work right after I’d moved to Portland, OR. I wasn’t familiar with my new city yet and got lost. As I was at a stoplight, looking around for something that would tell me where I was and where I should go, I caught sight of an exchange that I wish I had had a video camera with me to record. A man was stretching his legs while his car was being filled (you can’t pump your own gas in OR – I felt like a queen when I would go to get gas :) ) and a woman was walking down the street.
He watched her approach with an expression of awe, but lowered his eyes when she turned in his direction. She looked at him with interest and a small smile, but turned her head away when he looked up. This exchange carried on for the entire time it took her to walk past him. They took turns watching each other, but looked away before the other could see they were being studied. I was across the street, but I could almost see little strings tethering them to each other. Even after she’d passed she kept turning back to look at him and he watched her until she was out of sight. He shook his head ruefully and got into his car. I wanted to scream at them, their whole relationship flashed in front of me and I couldn’t believe they’d just let it slip by.
So many different ideas exploded in my head during the exchange, even now, 12 years later, I remember it clearly. The ideas born on that day are still with me, getting mighty impatient to be used, but they haven’t abandoned me. Before the light turned green, I scribbled it all down in a notebook I had with me.
Recently, I was driving to my current job, not lost this time, watching the sun disappear behind the mountains. The way the sun’s rays got caught in the hazy clouds hanging around the top of the mountains made me think of a person’s fingers reaching up under a sheet, making peaks and valleys. I made a little Evernote and later that night wrote a scene for one of the projects I’m working on.
What inspires me? Everything. What speaks to me? This world and all its possibilities. What inspires you? I’d love to hear; leave me a comment! :)