Tag Archives: inspiration Monday

Inspiration Monday: Friends

You see familiar things differently with a friend - I'd never noticed how beautiful the light on these arches in Norwich Cathedral before I saw them with my friend Helen.

You see familiar things differently with a friend – I’d never noticed how beautiful the light on these arches in Norwich Cathedral was before I saw them with my friend Helen.

I’ve had such a wonderful few days, full of laughter and fascinating conversation.  I feel so grateful for the people I have in my life, people who stimulate and support me.

On Thursday, old friends arrived on a flying visit from Queensland, Australia.  We hadn’t seen them in several years, as you can imagine, but as soon as they walked through the door, it was like they had never left.  We introduced them to ‘Cards Against Humanity’.  This probably makes us very bad people, but we had a hilarious evening as a result.

On Saturday, I met up with a dear writing friend.  We had a delicious summer lunch on her verandah, overlooking the river, sitting in the sunshine with fresh flowers on a crisp little table cloth, talking about life and writing.

On Sunday, we met up with one of my Sherlock fandom friends and her husband, over from the US for a holiday.  They were kind enough to trek up here to Norfolk to see us, and we had a wonderful day, walking around the sights of Norwich, and talking about whisky, history and writing.  And laughing.  A lot.

Old friends, and new friends.  I feel so lucky to have them, and so inspired by them.  Each one has a fascinating story to tell, life experiences that fill me with awe and admiration.  Each one sparkles with wit and intelligence, and a deep, compassionate love for their fellow beings.

Of course, I am now knackered!  But in a good way.  I have laughed myself hoarse for days running, and thats better therapy than anything the NHS can offer.  I have enjoyed sunshine and fresh air, and my brain has been stimulated so much.

And I am inspired.  Talking with my creative friends has made me feel so excited about my novel.  I’m ready to go.  The world has opened up again. Its full of possibility.

When you are deep in a creative project, or struggling through a creative drought, it is easy to neglect your friends.  You may feel you don’t have time to hang out with them.  In actual fact, the reverse is true.  It is imperative to see your friends, and not just for their cheer-leading capacities.

Conversation spikes your interest in whole new areas.  You learn things from others you never knew existed, and these little morsels dropped into a chat over coffee or supper can take your writing or painting in an entirely new and exciting direction.  Walking about a familiar neighbourhood with a friend, you might see details you never knew were there, just because they see the world in a different way to you.  They might share their struggles in life, and inspire to acts of bravery in your own that you had no idea you were capable of.  And you, in your turn, will ignite new fires in them with your off-the-cuff remarks, and tales of your own life.

People are so exciting.  Connect with them.

I feel so grateful for the friendship of Justin and Val Debuse and their daughter, Sophia;  Nina Robertson; and Helen Todd and Mike Magruder.  Thank all for so generously sharing your time and your laughter with me this week.

Happy Creating,

EF

Inspiration Monday: Mad Thoughts!

Do you ever have one of those moments when you wonder WTF is going on inside your head?

I try to keep mindful of the thoughts that go through my head, partly as a defense mechanism against depression and overdoing things, but also to a degree out of sheer amusement because some of the stuff I think can be deeply bizarre.  For instance, here is yesterday’s offering:

“I don’t want her to think we’re the kind of people who don’t clean our bathroom mirrors.”

?????????????????

This raises so many questions about my sanity that I daren’t even go there.

BUT

What about using this as a creative writing prompt?

Who is the ‘her’ the speaker is so paranoid about?  A demanding mother-in-law, for example, the boss who might have a promotion available, or a rich friend, perhaps.  What sort of people don’t clean their bathroom mirrors anyway?  What kind of people are the ‘we’ mentioned?  Detach this sentence from me and my interiors paranoia for a minute, and think of all the possible short stories you could write using this moment of madness as a starting point.

There are so many little moments in life that could be writing prompts.  That is why you keep your writing notebook with you, so that you can write down the moment your mother-in-law steps over your threshold and into your new home for the first time, and the first thing she does is look at the floor and say ‘I see you haven’t hoovered today’ (you moved in two days ago.)  Just imagine all the thoughts that would come into your head then!  Or when the hostess of a dinner party you attend dispells a painfully embarassing moment by announcing, without any preamble:  ‘I like cheese.’  (What was going in inside her head?)  Or when you catch yourself wondering what it would be like to eat daffodils (answer: don’t – they are poisonous.  I looked it up.)  Or even wondering what alpacas think about.  What do alpacas think about anyway?

Your mind is a garden of unbridled surreality and whimsy.  Don’t ever think you are short of prompts.  Its all inside your head.  All you have to do is watch what is going on.

Happy Creating,

EF