Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Musings: Your writer’s box


Morning!

I'm going to jump start to Dawn's topic:

What would be in your box: I was just reading my copy of Writing Magazine and it had an idea for visual inspiration. The Advice is to keep a box of items which could trigger ideas for stories that can help if you get writer's block. I have no need of a special box of interesting items - I have a loft full of stuff! But I thought it might be a better idea to have a book full of pictures of unusual items. Anyway, I thought it might be fun to see which items would find their way into the other authors' boxes. Perhaps we could pick three items that are in our home/garden now that could be put in a box to give inspiration later.




My first item would have to be a pair of spectacles which would remind me to see ordinary things in a different way or even to filter out things that are actually there. Looking at the world from a different perspective could be a good prompt for an interesting story.
My second item would be a bottle of perfume, so that I would focus on the sense of smell and remember to describe any scents in the story.
My third item would be a map. How many stories begin with the discovery of a map? And there must be many more to be written!



I do have a file of interesting photos that I will use to write from one day. For past writing inspiration, I’ve relied on memories of people I’ve met, actors in movies, musicians, special places I’ve been, and even emotions I’ve experienced.

What I do have on my computer currently that I will use in a new Bowdancer book later on are photos I took over the weekend at a music festival of a young dancer.

When I first saw her, I was intrigued by her exotic appearance, especially her head shaved on each side (rather like my character Bekar in the series who had hers shaved on only one). The rest of her thick black hair was French braided from her forehead all the way back.

The next time I saw her she was barefoot and dressed in a short leather skirt and a laced vest, carrying a fire baton. I spoke with her and found out she was a firedancer. Bam! Yep, she had to be in my next book. She needed to be there.

Finally, I saw her dance (without fire), dressed in a charming peasant outfit that was quite unique. I had the full story running in my head by then. I did jot down notes of those ideas because I have another book to finish before I can write her story.



I was just reading my copy of Writing Magazine and it had an idea for visual inspiration. The Advice is to keep a box of items which could trigger ideas for stories that can help if you get writer's block. I have no need of a special box of interesting items - I have a loft full of stuff! But I thought it might be a better idea to have a book full of pictures of unusual items. Anyway, I thought it might be fun to see which items would find their way into the other authors' boxes. Perhaps we could pick three items that are in our home/garden now that could be put in a box to give inspiration later.


In my box would be crystals and candles as well as images, anything that strikes my imagination. Pictures of elaborate jewelry and crystals, mountains and beaches, houses and city buildings. Even colors, like material or a small stuffed animal. I can’t point out each item, as I don’t know what would I’d put in until I actually placed it in the box. I’m kind of strange like that. Who knows what could be found in my visual box. I’d have to say anything would find a home in the box. Including dried flowers and spices. Anything goes.



What a lovely idea. I’m going to go searching.



 I don't have such a box or album and wouldn't have one simply because I'm far more verbal than pictorial.  Mental images and stories recounted by others have often inspired me to start working with an idea.  I don't believe anything I have seen has ever done so.  For argument's sake, though, if I started such a virtual box, I'd put in it:

    My cats, little dog, and fish plus those of family and friends.
    Memories, my own and those of family and friends
    Certain experiences, mine and those of others.  The actual knowledge gained by wielding a pike or helping deliver a calf coming breach can add great immediacy to one's work.



Wow, I've never heard of this before. Ideally I would have something like a compass, a pirate's hook, and a magical jewel in my box, but I don't exactly have those lying around my house. And I'm currently living in a sparsely furnished college apartment so I have to think about this. I do have a map of the world hanging on my wall, so that would go into the box--along with this book on castles I bought when I worked at a bookstore this summer. I know it's a book, but it has blueprints on castles from all over the world, and I definitely want to write some sort of book with a castle in it in the future. Lastly, I would pick the mint julep cup I bought recently. It's silver and embossed with little dots, quite dandy and good ol' boyish. It makes me think of the South, a place I've never used as a book setting and I really should someday.



I have a folder on my phone for pictures I think set a mood or sketch a character. I guess that's a similar idea.

Most of my inspiration comes from things I see or hear, though. It might be a TV show, or old radio program (I have a few hundred on my computer). Or it might be seeing someone do something decidedly odd in real life, which drives me to imagine why anyone might do something so strange. Those are hard to fit in a box.



Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.


If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at MuseChrisChat@gmail.com






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