A New Year for writing for me comes laden with tasks that need to be completed. Two short stories due in March, and finish the second book in Regency Banquet. Plus twice-weekly blogs, reports weekly for a support group, and a bulletin weekly for a writers group. Oh, the humanity!
Often people ask where I get the inspiration for all that writing. It’s very simple. I look, I listen, I touch, I taste, I smell. And I think about how those senses impact what I am writing.
Listen to children asking parents questions. Listen to elderly shoppers wondering how produce became so expensive. Listen to young adults kicking a soccer ball around in the park, and boasting about their skills when the opposite sex is watching. Listen to the hum of bees in the flowers outside your home.
Look at the sunset, purple and pink and darkening blue. Look at the tears in the eyes of a new grandmother. Look at the cheerful and colorful flowers placed on a grave of a young child. Look at the changing colors of leaves on the trees. Look at the new apartments being built.
Touch the rough stucco on a tall building. Touch the satin petals on a rose. Touch the weave of your sweater. Run your fingers through the hair of someone dear to you. Touch your lips to ice cream. Touch the feathers on a sweet dove.
Taste that ice cream, sweet and creamy and cold. Are there chips or nuts in it? Taste a pickle. Is it sweet or dill? Crisp and cold? Commercial or home made? Taste a perfectly cooked steak or veggie patty. Savor the salt, the pepper, the garlic, the onions. Take a bite out of still hot fresh baked bread. Use a fork to spear the cucumber, tomato, olives, and lettuce in your salad, then put it in your mouth. Crunch the vegetation, delight in the juices that fill your mouth.
Step outside to smell the wood smoke. Pet your dog and smell the breath that is not pleasant but still very dear to you. Smell the magnolia blossoms in the neighbors’ yard. Smell the air freshener in your car. Smell the decay in the trash cans the day before collection. Smell the dust and mold in the boxes in the storage room. Smell the popcorn in the theater lobby, nearly irresistible. Smell the bacon cooking in another apartment.
Inspiration is all around, and all it takes is a few moments of letting your mind wander with just one of these senses. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.