Wednesday, November 15, 2006


What inspires you? As writers, that’s one of our most frequently asked questions. In fact, I just attended a book fair with Kathy E. and Michele H. and that was one of the queries posed. What inspires you? How do you come up with your ideas? I answer like I always answer--inspiration is everywhere.

Although, I have to admit, these pictures are more inspiring than most things for me. I mean…Hugh Jackman! Or cheese cake! Or fresians! Or better yet, Hugh Jackman eating cheese cake on a fresian. Think about it. Inspiration off the charts!

But life hands us all kinds of other great stuff too--sunsets, children, lightning storms. How can these things fail to inspire us? How can we keep the stories at bay?

The hard part, the part that makes me sit in my chair day after day when I want to be out enjoying the sunsets and laughter and lightning (I don’t know what it is about electrical storms--they draw me like well…like cheese cake.) is taking that inspiration, that spark of an idea, and molding it into something beautiful.

The idea stage is the honeymoon, that sweet moment in time when everything is magical. It’s not until somewhere around the middle of the book that I usually start to realize that my story is inane, boring, and SO not funny at all. That’s when the grueling work begins.

But that doesn’t mean inspiration is laying low and taking a break. Hardly that. It seems like it’s during those middle of the book battles that inspiration really starts whispering in my ear, “Hey, why are you worrying about that lame-brain idea? I’ve got something better, funnier, sexier, cleverer.” And here I didn’t even know cleverer was a word. Damn that inspiration is sneaky.

However, it’s also indispensable. I know that even in the midst of drudgery. I don’t care how many middle of the books I hammer my way through, inspiration is desperately needed. And when Hugh Jackman in nothing but a towel doesn’t give me a lift, buy me some daisies and write a nice eulogy, cuz folks, I’m gone.


Betina Krahn said...

Lois, lol. . . you're far from daisy-land! And thanks for the photo of Hugh. When I opened the browser this morning I wasn't expecting anything half that. . . stimulating.

:) Betina

Anonymous said...

mmmm. Hugh Jackman. What a great way to start any and every day.

Helen Brenna said...

I'm not a cheesecake fan. I'll take my Hugh with chocolate truffle cake, please!

Michele said...

I know what you mean about getting to that middle and then something 'cleverer' pops up. Currently fighting the need to start a new story when the one I'm working on now is due Jan 1st. Okay, so I did start writing a proposal on the new one this week. But the inspiration for the new story? Christian Bale! How can you not work on a story with him in it?

So in an attempt to focus on current story, I've put up a picture of current hero, Josh Holloway, on my computer (just below Christian). It's a battle, I tell you!

But what a way to start the day--with two gorgeous men. (Oh, and as for food, I've got the cherry cream Hersey's kisses right here, baby!)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Michele, I saw those cherry cream kisses when I was shopping for candy for our event, and I reached for them. But I don't like choc covered cherries. Hand switched to regular kisses. But choc covered cherries are hubby's faves. Reached for that bag again. But they were also my mother's faves. Back to regular kisses. In my present state of mind this could have gone on all day. Ended up with extra large bag of regular kisses.

Believe it or not, this speaks to what inspires me. Choc covered cherries. Associations with choc covered cherries. Lightining. I'm with Lois--I love lightning. Associations with lightning--how different it looks in a Dakota sky, as opposed to a New England sky or a Virginia sky, and how my grandmother in VA used to turn all the lights out and make us get away from the windows and how smug and invulnerable a 12-yr-old suddenly thinks she is and how smart-alecky to tease, how newly nervy. And then there was that Independence Day storm my first summer in SoDakota, after the rodeo and the fireworks, the lightning that claimed the whole sky and the downpour that made it seem more sensible to linger in the car a few more minutes after everyone but hubby-to-be had gone inside.

Hugh Jackman's nice, too, but the towel and the golf club really add the interest. Am I weird?

I have some cute pictures of our book fair event to post on Friday.

lois greiman said...

Yeah, I know, Hugh Jackman on a roof in a towel with a golf club. Pretty good. But no one mentioned the horse. Come on folks--it's a fresian, Dutch royalty as far as I'm considered. All long black hair flowing feathering and sexy-sad eyes.

You know what, Kathy, looks like I'm the one who's weird huh?

Michele said...

Those weird little strawberry tootsie roll thingies were dangerous enough to have brought along to the event. I think I ate like a hundred. (Seriously. They were small, and when you're tired you just reach for them, over and over and over...)

Horses. Hmm. Well, actually I don't have any strong feelings about them. Dogs, now those I have strong feelings about. (Be quite, Lois, and no Cruella jokes.)

But as for horses, I like the ones all done up in royal livery, pulling a coach and doing those fancy steps. Just saw the like in the movie, Marie Antoinette. Cool stepping horses. Love it!


lois greiman said...

Cruella, yes!! Michele, you can't possibly expect me to pass up this opportunity.

Did you all know that our own Michele H. is actually Cruella DeVille? She came over to my house once when we had this bundle of absolutely adoooorrrable golden retriever puppies and said, "Oh, puppies. Do you have with them or something?"
No, MH is not, I repeat, not, a dog person.

So, I'm proud you even recognize horses, Michele. I haven't seen Marie Antoinette yet, but does anyone remember the horses in Lady Hawk or oh oh!! The Kingdom of Heaven with...what's his name, Legolas ummmm Orlando Bloom (had to ask my daughter) They must have had an amazing horse master for that film, because their mounts just about brought tears to my eyes. Which brings me to Lord of the Rings, my favorites novels of all time. I actually did tear up when I saw Gandalf's horse. When I was a little girl, my friends and I would take turns being Shadowfax.

So, Kathy, who's the biggest weirdo now, huh??

Kathleen Eagle said...

Okay, one of my favorite movie opening scenes features a gorgeous white horse. Movie (I used the title for a book) was "More Than a Miracle" with Sophia Loren and Omar Sharif. You're all too young. Beautiful fairy tale. Speaking of Omar, how about "Hidalgo" with the magnificently inspiring Viggo? He bought one of the Hidalgos.

lois greiman said...

Viggo! Ahhhh! Now we're talking. Did you know he's a poet, and a publisher? And Aragorn! Yikes. Think of him in chain mail and leather.

Oh, there's a horse, the one Arwen rode in...The Two Towers?? Michele should have liked that one--moved like a dream, kind of in slow-mo while she was being chased by the wraiths, but still, sooooo beautiful. Have I posted a thousand pics of my boy Sagacious Sage already. He's all white and hursuit. In repose he's kind of boring, but when he moves I get all teary eyed cuz it's like visual poetry. (I believe I already mentioned that I have problems.)

Anyway, I'm going to run out and find More Than a Miracle as soon as I write my 10 pages for the day. :)