Friday, April 26, 2013

So What is it About Inspiration?

Inspiration is a cloud of smoke, hard to get through and so worthwhile when you do.  I am asked often about the concept.  Where does it come from?  Do you have to conjure it up?  Are there times when it goes away?  I decided to give an illustration through a vignette.  

And speaking of illustrations, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the marvelous illustrator/water colorist of the Bella and Britt series, Samantha Bell.

Sea Turtle Summer came to me, not on a glorious beach with glimmering white sand but in a stark utilitarian hospital room.  Talk about being led by your muse.  She had to work wonders with this one.
My husband was recovering from back surgery (happily, he's fine now.)  I sat in his room, net book on lap and waited for inspiration to come calling.  And she did, demanding another Bella and Britt book.   About sea turtles.

So I began Sea Turtle Summer on a frigid February morning in St. Louis and was instantly transported to Clearwater Beach, where the weather was balmy, and the beach was getting busy.  

A female Loggerhead sea turtle was heading back to the sea, but I knew her nest was in trouble.  Enter Britt and Bella, and the girls and I were off and running.

It's a funny thing, inspiration.  Sea Turtle Summer, I know, was a combination of my many early morning walks on Clearwater Beach, all the conversations about the plight of sea turtles and time on my hands that winter morning, willing my muse to conjure up a worthy story.  She hardly ever fails.

Once it began, the book came quickly, and I was able to get the main story in place by the time my husband went home.  Some books do that, I find.  Some do not.  But whichever way they begin, the end game is the goal.  Oh, that and something wonderful and magical in the pages between.  Let's hope my muse or inspiration or spark continues.  It is such a positive thing!

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