It appears in those moments between being awake and asleep. Or slips into a dream. It’s in the shadow of a corner. A brief conversation overheard gives it a voice. A man sitting alone on a bus wears it. A woman’s face behind heavy makeup screams it into being.
Some say that writers write because they have to. I believe that writers write because they have stories that have to be told. And they can’t stop themselves. Those stories that gnaw at me are why I set aside time every day to put words to paper. Writers have to write down those stories that dredge emotions from us, scenes that make us cry, relationships that make us laugh, and, often, situations and conditions that provoke rages small and large in us.
When I decided I wanted to post regularly, to communicate with my readers—current and future— I didn’t want to talk about myself (although I’m sure one might find my ramblings profound and scintillating and, frankly, life-altering). Instead, I want to know what form the fuel of inspiration and imagination plays in the creative process. Okay, occasionally I may indulge in sharing my own ruminations. But mostly I want an excuse to hear from creative storytellers, in all the forms their storytelling takes.
The blog is represented by this photo of the “Harvest Moon” posted on Facebook by Anna Maria Gardner. This and two other of Anna’s photos inspired me to want to ask her about how these photos speak to her differently than they speak to me. One of the photos inspired a story I’ll be posting on the web site for my children’s book, The Island of Lost Children. There you’ll find the occasional “Five Minute Bedtime Story” as well as blog posts from the characters in the book. I’ve already approached a couple of writers, one of whom draws from the same source for her material as I have, but who approached it in a very different way. I have in mind a new animator who just revealed a very funny project. And songwriters.
Most of all, I want to have fun and occasionally be moved. And, yes, even inspired. So join me on a flight to the moon of harvesting stories every week or so. Who knows where we’ll end up at the end of the flight.