The Movement of Inspiration


Inspiration is a funny thing. It is everywhere or no where at all. Angel Oak, the tree above (behind my name) is outside of Charleston, SC. It is awe inspiring. The tiny snail over this post crawled his way onto my pages, inspiring as well. Music, for me, is the surest form of inspiration. In the early drafts of Circling, before giving a crap about precision or technique, just trying to “see it,” I listened to music a lot while I wrote. On headphones and LOUD (my audiologist friend is going to make a killing off me in a few years). A guitar riff can shift the action of a whole scene. One line of a song can alter a character’s entire motivation. Music is easy.

But inspiration comes from other, less expected, places. Driving down a city street, I saw a cable repair man standing in a hole gesturing with both hands facing down, pressing repeatedly, up and down, up and down, with fingers spread wide. I have no idea what he was doing, but it was a beautiful movement. It was ballet. It stuck with me and made me think about the challenge of transferring gestures and expressions to the page. That repair man gave my characters more movement. They tend to get a little static since they are busy having deep thoughts and making snappy retorts.

I tried to give that movement words all day. I still don’t have it, but trying is a good exercise.

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