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October 2016

When you get that itch…

No, no, no… not THAT itch. The itch to write.

Been feeling the need over the past couple days to write a blog post. But I couldn’t think of what to say. Most of the ideas were too depressing and dark, and that’s a beast I don’t really want to tackle today. So, as I’m wandering downtown, viewing Artprize venues, it leads me to ask the questions: Where do you find your inspiration? Where do your stories come from?

Inspiration is everywhere to me. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My first story ever written was a hybrid inspired from Goosebumps and the old show Fact Or Fiction?.

“The Haunted School:

There was bloody all over. The people were screaming. The End.”

Insert a few more grammatical and spelling errors and that was the whole thing.

What gets the itch started for me is… Well… How do I define it?

Its when you see something, hear something, look at someone and think,This has meaning. This has beauty. I need to do something with this or I’ll lose this moment. I need to save this.
Its a painful experience. It breaks your heart and makes it race double-time. Manic obsession and agonizing excitement that puts the burn in your legs to run with it. Tingles in your fingertips with the desire to impress. To create.

Lena, a character from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, said, “I always felt like I had to do something in the face of beauty.” Lordy, Lena, I feel ya. And so she drew, she painted.

If you’re still reading, and care for a look into my brain, I’ll share with you snippets, memories and thoughts that fueled the flame.

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A winter night in Chicago. A dingy hotel room to contrast the glassy front. Mixture of rain and snow staining the street lights with a bronze hue. It looked so dirty, but it looked like life. 

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Seeing a face across the room and forgetting all sense of self-awareness and asking a person you’ve never spoken to if you could draw/paint them. She looked like an elf straight from Tolkien, with her pointed features and flawless skin. The kind of face that will never age, and eyes that would pierce any soul.

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The full moon is high and reflecting blue and gold off slivers and shards of night water. But the waves are broken by feet that cut into the surface and carry her into the slightest wake. Her hair dark and tousled, she wades outward, olive skin divided by the curve of her spine, puncuated with venus dimples to amplify beauty.

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The soft rush of a creek, fringed with green threatening it’s girth, accompanied by the song of crickets and frogs. Crossed by a beam, a railroad tie, a makeshift bridge. Worn by winter flooding and soggy with the morning dew, the carved names and years of trespassers shining on the long since oil-exuding grain.

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Staring out at pieces of a city, smoking a cigarette late at night and knowing that this is the kind of scene that writers write about. Capturing the image of quiet thought and pensive contentedness, even if only for a flash in time.

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The moments when you feel a song defines your life. The moments you close your eyes and see a scene behind the lyrics. You drive through a neighborhood, and you know every home, every soul has it’s secrets. Those little pieces of your life, experiences that should mean nothing, but weigh on you until you’re fit to burst. Light or dark, they hold their own shade of beauty.

The first night of loneliness after a life changing decision. The overwhelming sensation of “right” when you realize alone isn’t bad. The moments you wonder “how did I get here?” and realize that it really doesn’t matter.

This is the only time you’ll ever hear, or read, me say the words: write what you know. You know your own thoughts. You know your imaginings. You know what drives you. Accept it. Flourish it. Nurture it. Create something.

What is it? What is your spark?

Happy Autumn!

‘Tis the season to write. Curling up layered with sweaters, sippin’ on a pumpkin spice coffee (yeah, that’s right–roll your eyes) that scalds as it slides down the throat, on a cloudy cool day.

Everywhere you look, the darker colors are coming out. With Halloween around the corner, everybody is showing off their inner gothic freaky side. And I love it. Oh do I love it.
For someone who loves to write the darker side of the story, the dreary days fuel my fire and get my fingers trembling with to itch to capture, to recreate and paint the beauty of it through words.

So I shall don my yoga pants and shawl, raise my steaming, coozied, cardboard to-go cup to you, and hunker down with my notebook, and find my happy place between those fine blue lines, in the happy roll of of the ink pen over the remains of a once proud and sturdy tree, and make my sacrifice to the literary gods.

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