Tuesday 2 September 2014

Lost shoes, black & white photos and music - that's where the magic begins.

If we all have a book inside of us then I must have taken a few other people's share of books. I'm always coming up with ideas for stories and when I was younger I used to make up stories for my younger sisters. I created characters based on their toys and incorporated their favourite things into songs and stories. They still remind me of the silly songs I would sing during story time and it makes me blush. Hubbie does the same thing with our boy and I trust he will have some lovely memories of story time too.

So, the Big Idea are running a great competition and have asked what inspires me to write ? Well, to be honest I'd be hard pushed to say what doesn't inspire me. Overheard conversations, news events, absent-mindedly listening to the radio, everything does. I have, however, chosen some things that I find especially inspiring.

Photos: in my parents house there was a black and white photo on the wall unit - which was in the home of every family member. I had no idea who the Sikh man in the photo was, but he was very serious looking and quite young. When we were looking through my parents' wedding album I remember carefully turning back the crinkly tissue paper leaves that concealed magical images from another time and place, people I hadn't met and who I might not. I asked Mum who the elderly Sikh man was and she said it was her father. The man from the photo on the unit. I thought he had died long before I was born, but apparently he was alive until just before I went to India aged 2 and a half.  The story of time in between those two photos captivated my imagination and I have created so many stories based on that time period and the adventures he had.

Music: I love music and hearing a tune or a short clip of music often reminds me of a moment or a place and immediately I have a story taking shape in my head. Growing up with Bollywood music in my home was amazing with the contrast of the sombre and romantic ballads and the crazy pop tunes. From soothing tones to upbeat dance numbers all songs are the potential soundtrack to the script in my head.  

Walking is inspiring
Walking: I used to walk everywhere and would often see things that would make me stop. People having an argument, or an unusual event going on. Having travelled for work I have spent a lot of time observing the world around me. I remember seeing a jacket on the ground by a telephone box - it was sad and sent my mind swirling into the possible reasons for how it had ended up there.  By the time I was home I had imagined the whole tale from the messy break up to the girlfriend throwing the clothes out of the window and one thing being left behind in the melee. 

Windows: Looking out of trains, buses, hotels and in fact any windows provide a wide range of
opportunities for finding stories. The shoe on top of a bus shelter could be either a heartening tale of childish high jinx or a sad and frightening one of bullying. It entirely depends on what mood I'm in whether the tone is dark or light really. 

There is so much more that inspires me, but I'm not going to go on about it. I've got writing to do over here. Now go shoo, get out there and live a bit to get inspired yourself :) 

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