Today’s the day that I try to post things that inspired me and/ or are inspiring me. In the past, I’ve posted links, pictures, memes, and quotes. I had meant to do that this morning but my cat meowed me awake so she could go outside and I wound up sitting on my back porch with a hot mug of tea and a book or two and, of course, Señorita Mija Kittypants until just before I had to leave for work.
Originally when I wrote that last paragraph, I was going to say “I failed,” but I changed my mind. Today, you’ll just get a list of what inspires me. Or at least, that’s what I’m inspired to post today.
Trees — Yes, they’re the primary reason I hike. Sure, staring off the edge of a cliff and seeing for miles over the tops of the Blue Ridge Mountains is nice, but any time I’m hiking through a grove of trees, I’m excited. (Maybe not so much during Atlanta’s pollen season.) And even though most of my publishing is done online these days, I have a deep personal relationship with paper. Anything I write has to be worth the trees that were pulped to print it. (Or the energy used to power the server that hosts it.) Many a time there had been when I realised that I didn’t want to explain to the ghost of a grove of trees that it died so I could print something I didn’t proofread, or edit properly, or didn’t work on hard enough.
Writers — My blog roll lists a few that I like. One in particular published my work when no one else would (you can decide for yourself whether that’s good or bad) in addition to making sure my reading list is never boring, and one was inspired by me to embark in a blog project and in turn inspired me (read: guilt-forced me) into sucking it up and bringing this blog back on line and up to date. But I’m not plugging them this time. This time, I want to say that seeing anyone writing anything inspires me (yup, I mean guilt-forces me, again) to pull out my notebook or laptop or tablet or bar napkins, or even just ask my pub companion to hold really still while I write on his or her back. Yes, even the ‘WRITERS’ who populate coffee shops (not often on the business side of the counter… that’s where you’ll find those writers and artists who actually write and, err, art) and proclaim to all unwilling to tune them out that they will rework the very definition of fiction… once they get past page 51, at least, or such petty bourgeois concerns like ‘plot’ and ‘character’ and ‘holding the reader’s interest… even they inspire me. Even if what they’re creating is less written fiction and more oral storytelling tradition about how they too will be a great writer someday, they are creating.
Food — Rather, the preparing of food. Sometimes when I’m blocked I will walk about with a notepad, bereft of words but begging me to be able to put something down. Sometimes I’ll play with the cat, or walk the dog. Or walk the cat, which leads to confusion all around. Sometimes I’ll chew on my pen, hoping that I can squeeze the words out of my head, down the ink barrel, and onto my paper. But few things are able to really push me past that point of being unable to write like not being able to write, even if it is for only twenty or thirty minutes while I chop the onions and garlic and broccoli and garlic (never is there ever too much garlic). Sometimes I’ll even eat what I cook. And yes, sometimes I just can’t keep the words in and I’ll run madly from the range top to my table and start scrawling my ideas down with a wooden spoon lately used to stir something that will definitely leave a stain before realizing that the pen the cat knocked off the table when she jumped up there to get away from the dog who ran into the kitchen because someone was making noise in there and that someone just possibly might be able to give her some of that food, or perhaps all of it… perhaps that pen will work better, and I grab it and write down whatever it was that hit me. Often it’s only slightly more lucid than the notes I jot down between dreams (last week I sent a text message to myself that says ‘Your mission is to rescue your Uncle from Computer Rehab…’ Any ideas what the hell that means?) but it doesn’t matter, because in the process of creating sustenance for my belly (and entertainment for the pets) I almost invariably create sustenance for my head. Or my Muse’s head, maybe.
Maybe when I get home I will post a few quotes and sound bites, but really, what good is Inspiration Tuesday if I don’t talk about inspiration?