A Question for TW Readers
For this month's theme, "The Time Bind," four TW writers tell you how they find inspiration in the midst of the daily scramble.
Now we're asking you to let us know what sparks your creative writing. Comment below to give TW and your fellow readers new ideas about how to beckon the muse.
To get you started, here are some inspirational triggers from our theme writers.
In The Then of Now, Rebecca Meacham describes how a quiet moment with her baby set her thinking about the way she could use that very scene in her new historical novel.
Good for the novel, perhaps, but as Rebecca notes:
To some, this may seem exploitive—or worse yet, schizoid, whorish. After all, the least a person can do is fully inhabit her own mind as she interacts with others."
In The Haunting, Lynya Floyd tells about a strange occurrence related to her grandfather. As Lynya rode a bus near her grandfather's former home in Harlem, the scent of his cologne suddenly filled the cabin. Lynya asks:
Was he reminding me it was time to tell his story? Or was I mistaking someone’s aftershave for a child’s memory of silver-topped bottles on a man’s nightstand?"
In Time Is Not of the Essence, David Biddle shares several tips for sparking ideas for essays, including engaging in Facebook arguments. He says:
When people are relentless with their ridiculous opinions, my instinct is to eloquently put them in their place—subtly or not so subtly. I’ve been loath to let myself fall into this trap, but vanity sometimes gets the better of me—and maybe that’s a good thing."
In The Phantom Tollbooth, Laurie Weisz describes how the horrific death of an old friend inspired her to return to writing a long-delayed book of short stories about polo. Laurie tells us:
The impossible sadness of the accident reawakened my writing reflex. What other way is there for me to make sense of all the dangling memories I have of him, frozen in time like an extinct arctic mammal?"
The loss or near-loss of aging parents can also be an inspiration for writing.
Elizabeth Langosy found that assisting her 88-year-old mother through gall bladder surgery and subsequently discussing the experience with her philosophical dentist sparked this month's Editor's Note, Life at a Snail's Pace—Sometimes.
And in the midst of preparing for the November issue, Martha Nichols lost her mother-in-law. In What Were You Doing When the News Came?, she talks about coming to terms with her grief and the writing it inspired. She begins her piece:
Almost instantly, I found myself trying to figure out what I thought was so important a few seconds before. I should have known. I should have marked the tingle in my neck, the hair lifting with psychic static."
We look forward to hearing the events and experiences that have inspired your stories, poems, and essays. Thanks for sharing them.