People, Places, Things– What inspires you as a writer?
March has brought me some tough weather, health, and finances, but it’s also been filled with inspiration for me as a writer. As the month draws to a close, I want to honor the person, the place, and the things that most inspired me this month. I hope you’ll share, too.
The person: When the first Lakeside Porches book Stepping Up To Love is published this August, its dedication will be “to our inspirational friend John…”. John is an old ski buddy of ours who turned 91 a few months ago. Over the past two years he researched an exceptional woman athlete and prepare a formal nomination for her to the Women’s Hall of Fame. The winners were just announced, and John’s nominee Julie Krone will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this fall. How does that inspire me as a writer? John inspired the entire Lakeside Porches series; as we enjoyed his 90th birthday brunch on the sunny porch at Belhurst Castle, I watched the staff fuss over him and make sure he enjoyed himself (oh, yes, he did!), and I sensed in my writer’s soul that there were heartwarming, passionate stories among the staff and guests at a place like the Belhurst. The concept for Lakeside Porches was born that sunny January day. John follows his curiosity, and I follow my writing muse.
The place: Early this March, when work seemed overwhelming and winter seemed never-ending, a friend from work filled a pause in the conversation with, “And I’m going on a silent retreat in a couple of weeks.” I pumped her for information and ended up going with her to Holy Cross Monastery on the Hudson (http://www.holycrossmonastery.com/). From March 19-22 we retreatants engaged in total silence, broken only by chanting and prayer at three daily services (Matins, Eucharist, and Vespers) at this Anglican Benedictine monastery. I went with the question, “So what am I really supposed to be doing now and for the rest of my life?” Pretty quickly, the universe assured me I’m on the right track by working and writing… and gradually shifting the balance from mostly work (a year ago) to mostly writing (a few years from now). I relaxed right into that and wrote my little fingers off (okay, I don’t use a pencil, I keyboard 99% of what I write). In fact, thanks to the quiet and inspiration of the retreat, I’m now working the last chapter of Book Two of the Lakeside Porches (Coming Home to Love, Justin and Gianessa’s story, begun last summer in the Berkshires). Check out my Facebook Author page for more pictures (FB: Katie.OBoyle.Author).
The things: I love all the little signs of spring! Sure there’s still snow on the ground, and it is gray, gravel-encrusted snow at that. But the snowdrops are blossoming, the birds are pairing off (see Stepping Up To Love hero Joel Cushman’s Twitter Feed @TompkinsFalls). OMG– two pileated woodpeckers, red crowns bursting out of the top of their heads, whoop-whooping as they chased each other through the trees all over campus this week! (see gabku’s photo) The miracle of creation is back with us. Hearts are turning to love and romance. Spring, like hope, will not be denied, so matter how gray the snow looks. The romance genre for me is filled with hope, creation, and happy endings, regardless of how tough things get from time to time. We make our own happiness, and this time of year I draw on all the little signs of spring to bring a smile to my face and to my heart.
What inspires you as a writer? A person? A place? A thing?