As writers, we notice things. If you're like me, you keep lists of things that catch your eye, or of interesting - and, often, random - conversations you have during the day. And that's where "Finding Inspiration" comes in; it provides a place for you to remember and share those moments, actions, images, and conversations that might influence what you and I write about next.
Today, in Jenny Rappaport's blog, Litsoup, there was a Book Block about the middle-grade novel, Emmy & The Home for Troubled Girls, by Lynne Jonell. As with all the Book Blocks Jenny posts, the feature author summarized her novel and talked about where she got her inspiration. The last paragraph discusses the genesis of any story (italics mine):
"I think, as writers, our subconscious minds push up images, snatches of songs, tantalizing odors, evocative phrases; and we need to pay attention. These incoherent fragments are the first tiny green shoots of something that has an elaborate root system already in place. I watch for these. I kneel down and give them my full attention; I water, fertilize, weed, I do everything in my power to coax the stories up. But without the seed first rotting in the ground for years and years, and then sending up a first exploratory frond, I have nothing to work with."
By posting to the category "Finding Inspiration," I'm taking the first step in noticing that "first tiny green shoot." I'm thinking about images and conversations, and wondering where they sprung from, why they're stuck in my head, and why I even noticed them in the first place. Someone once asked me how I came up with the idea for my work-in-progress novel, Through Charlotte's Eyes. It started with a footnote in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Then, I started researching - I knelt down and dug into the earth - and the story started falling into place. This is just one example of the principle at work in "Finding Inspiration" and in the sentiment expressed by Jonell. It's also why I'll keep posting to "Finding Inspiration" as much and as often as I'd like.