Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Week of Inspiration, Day 2: Memories

This week I'm celebrating and exploring the idea of inspiration--where it comes from, and how it can be stirred to life. Yesterday we looked at music as a tool for inspiration. So if you're a writer wanting a tip or two about gaining inspiration for your work, or if you're a reader wondering about some of the ways authors craft the stories they tell, read on.

2. Memories

A childhood memory
Memories fascinate me. Why do we remember certain things about our childhood clearly, and not others? Some of my recollections are as faded as an old photograph, while others stand out as crisp and clear as if they'd happened yesterday. I often sift through my memories for inspiration when it comes to stories--memories of events, like weddings, funerals, or graduations. Memories of trips I took, doctor visits I had, surgeries I underwent.

These memories can be mined--not necessarily just for the facts and landscape of the events, although those are great, too--but for the sometimes startling emotions they dredged up. I write mainly fantasy, and while I've never lived in a snowy forest populated by monsters, I have been terrified, and while I've never been imprisoned on an old house and forced to break a curse, I have been in situations where I felt trapped, both literally and figuratively.

Sometimes memories inspire me as a reader, too, because certain books remind me of things in my own past--friendships, family, or old boyfriends in that sweet nostalgic way.

What memories inspire you?


  1. I wish I had better memories of my childhood. My memory stinks. Thankfully I have photo albums to look at that help trigger some memories :)


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