Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fuel to the Fire

I've heard the question asked a million times to authors of every possible genre,

"Where do you get your ideas?"

It's a question I get sick of reading, so I can only imagine the nausea it causes the oft-asked authors.  If I have the opportunity to ask a question of my favorite writers, you can bet your paycheck that question won't be one of them.  Everyone's answer is going to be different.  If Writer A happens to find inspiration in a bowl of Lime Green Jell-O, are you going to hustle to your local mart to stock up on the wobbily treat?

In other words, I don't care where you or anyone else finds your muse.  I only worry about where mine happens to be hiding.

90% of the time, she's hidden in music. 

I constantly need noise in my life, as I don't put any faith in quiet solitude.  If a movie isn't on for background noise, it's a sure bet that my iTunes is plugging along on shuffle.  And surprisingly enough, certain songs/artists will crack open that rusty door in my brain and allow an idea to make a run for it.  But please don't misinterpret this.  I am not simply putting song lyrics into a story.  No matter how much I love Springsteen's Thunder Road, I have no interest in adapting it into a novel.  But how can you not get ten different ideas from the line-

"There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road in the skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets"

Last week a song happened to spring an imprisoned idea in my head, and that inmate has been running wild for days, rattling the bars, shanking every other idea in the kidneys, and threatening to start a riot.  I've been looking for a new project to work on, and it seems this will be it.  More information will be forthcoming, but for the meantime, enjoy the trigger for my inspiration.

1 comment:

  1. It is a tired question. Especially from family members who eyeball you like you slaughter small animals in your spare time.