Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Slow Trickle of Inspiration

Since I started selling purses and stories on Etsy (Handbag Chronicles--tell all your friends) I've found that actually sewing the purses is not the challenge. Coming up with stories, however, sometimes can be. Often (and when I say often, I mean that it's happened twice since I started selling) I will have a pile of purses to sell, but don't have the original stories to go with them.

And I think that writing a story for every purse--an original story--was probably not the best idea.

However, as I force myself to write, write, write, I've noticed that inspiration is starting to come from  everywhere. I've said this before on this blog and I'll say it again. My favorite writing quote is this:

Write every day. It's easier to keep a patient on life support than to resurrect the dead.
- Janet Fitch. (author of White Oleander)

Writing makes writing easier. Because I'm constantly in writing mode now, I'm seeing story ideas everywhere.

For example, yesterday I was in a craft store looking at potential purse fabric when I heard a page on the loud speaker for the owner of a Honda Odyssey. They said my license plate number too, so I went to the front of the store to see what was up. Seems Petco, right next door, was having a pet adoption event in the parking lot. One of the cats had been frightened and run off. To my car. She climbed up the wheel well and hid in the engine under the hood. The cat was rescued after I figured out how to pop the hood. (it's a new car, okay?) 

As I was driving off I had this thought: maybe the cat didn't want to be adopted. Maybe someone is breaking up a cat family, or even worse, a cat romantic relationship. Maybe the cat's boyfriend is caged up and potentially going to another home. Maybe this was her attempt at escape and rescue, so they could build a life together?

Then today, at Fred Meyer, I was picking out tomato plants for my garden when a woman chastised me. Yes, she chastised me! "Are you sure it's not going to freeze again?" she asked as she saw me eyeing some plants.

"Well, if they've got them outside here at the store, I figure they'll be safe outside at my house," I said.

"That means nothing. Fred Meyer runs these ads to make money. They don't care if the plants live or die."


I grabbed four plants and put them in my cart and as I was walking away heard her mumble, "they'll die if it drops below 50." 

Thanks Lady. By the way, did you know that two years ago I grew HUNDREDS of pounds of tomatoes without any problem? Did you know that I'm still eating canned salsa, tomatoes and tomato sauce from that tomato haul? Do you know I've been growing tomatoes for 15 years? Do you? 

And then there was today, when Robert asked me what year my dad was born. I'm sorry, but I don't know what year my dad was born. Is that weird? Well, I don't. I know when my dad's birthday is and I know my dad is almost 70, but I don't know the exact year. So sue me. 

I knew why he was asking though. A while back, Robert made one of the security questions on my bank account, "what year was your father born?" And every time Robert goes on-line to update our finances, he asks me, "What year was your father born?" 

And I say, "I don't know. Why did you make that one of the security questions if you don't know. Why don't you call my dad and ask him?" And then Robert calls my dad.

And we go through this every time. The thing about the security question is they have to be tricky or someone could figure them out. They have to be so tricky that even YOU don't know the answers to them. 

So we changed all the security questions today. 

Thank goodness.

But I'm now swamped with story ideas. Forcing myself to sit down and start writing has sort of opened up, not a flood gate, but a nice little trickle. It's awesome. 

And I know. Duh! I know this. Probably everyone knows this. 

But still, writing makes writing easier.


a said...

so, whatcha up to? sewing? writing? jelloing? crowing?

Heather said...

This is a great post, Afton! :)