What carries you away and makes you step on a path of creativity, adventure and motivation? What is that spark, splash or maybe a dash of inspiration that keeps you going?
Me and Kay from “Suddenly they all died” decided to embark on a journey of exploration to answer the question that always stays the same: “What is your inspiration at the moment?”. First of all I should say that I was really impressed by her essay: deep thought, nice structure, beautiful language. For me, it really is special to read something that is put together so well. Find out more about Kay and her social media links at the end of this article and for now I will let you enjoy her essay:
author: Kay Kauffman
Connections and the little things
Inspiration is a funny thing. It can be anything, after all – a sight, a sound, a scent. As a writer, “What inspires you?” is one of the questions I most dread because I’m most likely to answer, “Anything and everything,” and I strongly suspect that’s not what most people want to hear. The inspiration question is often followed by, “So…am I in your story?”
I always say no, but many times, the answer is actually yes. I’m a writer – I observe. If I’ve observed you, whether up close or from afar, some aspect of you is probably in my story.
But that’s not what this post is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about what’s inspiring me at the moment. Of course, my response to that is – you guessed it – everything.
For instance, I usually have a poem or three under construction at any given point in time, and my biggest inspiration for those is what I see out my window on my commute. But it can’t be all fiery sunsets and happy little trees; the weather gets its fair share of attention, too, because we have so much of it. As the old saying goes, if you don’t like the weather in Iowa, wait five minutes – it’ll change.
I also enjoy writing fiction, though, and since it’s difficult to form an interesting plot around a landscape or the weather (not impossible, mind you, just difficult), inspiration for those things must come from other sources. I have a short story underway at the moment that draws a little from Edgar Rice Burroughs, a little from the short-lived (but fabulous) TV show Defying Gravity, and a lot from the Mars One project. I’m about to start on a wolf story inspired by a recent dinosaur discovery in Argentina. Both are love stories because hey, I’m a romantic.
Of course, my biggest project at the moment is my fantasy series, The Lokana Chronicles. I’m in the middle of rewriting the first two books (and then I have to finish writing the third), and it’s easily the most complicated project I’ve ever undertaken. I drew inspiration from so many different places for this story: ancient myths, Disney movies, a story I co-wrote with a friend some fifteen years ago, the wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East…With such varied inspirations, it’s been a challenge trying to tie everything all together into a satisfying tale, but I hope I’ve succeeded.
Only time will tell.
Naturally, my kids inspire me, too. I love witnessing the awe with which they behold each new discovery as they explore the world around them. They perhaps influence my photography more than my writing, but whenever something wacky happens, I just have to write it down. If I don’t use it in a story one day, I can use it to embarrass them when they’re teenagers and say, that could make for an entertaining short story…
See what I mean about finding inspiration everywhere?
In finding inspiration, as in life, it’s all about the little things, and the connections between them. A word, a flower, anything can fire up the old imagination box, and once it’s whirring and humming away, the connections it creates are truly awesome.
Why not try it yourself? You never know what you’ll come up with.
As a girl, Kay dreamed of being swept off her feet by her one true love. And at the age of 24, it finally happened…and he’s never let her forget it. A mild-mannered secretary by day and a determined word-wrangler by night, she battles the twin evils of distraction and procrastination in order to write fantastical tales of wuv…twue wuv…with a few bad haiku thrown in for good measure.
Kay resides in the midst of an Iowa corn field with her hopelessly devoted husband and his mighty red pen; four crazy, cute kids; and an assortment of adorable kitties, chicks, and bunnies.
Learn more and stay in touch with Kay