Friday, November 7, 2008

Question of the Day #2

The vote is in! Based on all your blogtastic responses, you STILL love to play Questions! Yay for some things never getting old.

Although I must admit that there was part of me that freaked out when I read all your responses. That meant I really had to come up with a good question - every day. It's as much a challenge to me to think one up as it is for you to respond to them.

And of course every question I thought of this morning sounded dumb to me. So I stared at my computer screen. Did the dishes. Put my laundry away and finally did what I always do whenever I need to mull something over. I went for a walk.

Whenever I need to twist a plot, figure out why a character does what she does or come up with another verb to write a character from point a to point b, (walk? trot? dash? scramble? saunter? bolt?) I head up the hills.

I trudge up, up and up until I reach my favorite perch. It's an empty lot snuggled between celeb dwellings. Not a lot like you east coasters are used to, it's probably eight feet deep on a sheer drop to Mulholland below. But the right architect and the right kook could build a home there on stilts and enjoy the best view in LA.

So I slid out on my favorite rock, braced my heels in a crevice and saw all the way out to Catalina Island. To give you some perspective, my perch is about 18 miles from the ocean. A brownish filmy wall usually looms halfway through Hollywood, almost making it look like LA ends there. But today the ocean sparkled blue and clear. Beyond that, Catalina island is another 20 miles out. I have never seen it from here before.

I thought about how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place. To have the ability to walk, enjoy the landscape and let ideas simmer in my head. I wondered about other people and what they do when they need inspiration. Sure, I know some of your tricks. My friend, Helen, cranks music and drives up the PCH. My mother works garden soil with her bare hands. My father prunes fruit trees.

So here it is, the question of the day: What do you do when you need to get inspired?



  1. hmmmm, I'm not sure what I need to be inspired to do besides the dishes. I find that listening to music helps inspire me to do various things that often make me want to crawl back into bed. As for gathering my thoughts, which seems like a form of inspiration, the car and the shower seem to be places I'm able to to do that.

  2. Bolt! ;-)

    Inspiration for me comes in many forms. A walk in nature being at the top of the list. Seeing something for the first time that's been there forever. Talking with another writer about what it means to write and how it feels.

    When I sit down to write, I turn on the light classical channel on the TV (what an oxymoron), turn the volume way down and let the music sift through my head.

    Other times, I bury myself in a book.

  3. I completely exhaust myself with some sort of physical exercise. This frees my mind from the "stress" and perceived important details that drag my creativity... also, spending time with friends and creative, smart people does the trick...

  4. That "bolt" was just for you, Sarah! Thanks for playing round 2 guys!

  5. Dance. Sounds strange, but I blast a few of my favorite jams and totally let loose... preferably in a locked room, where no one can see my flailing, thrashing body. I always feel exhilarated and stress-free afterwards, ready to think clearly and work hard.

  6. Three things (and I'm thrilled to see that all three have already been mentioned, since that must mean we're onto something):

    1. Go for a walk/hike by myself, preferably at Torrey Pines.

    2. Take a long, hot shower.

    3. Drive on the freeway for an hour or more, as long as no one's talking and I can listen to music I'm really into.

  7. well that is a good question... well sometimes I put my i pod on and go crazy cleaning my house and other times I too go for a long walk and enjoy my surroundings.

  8. It used to be that anything ocean-related would give me inspiration. Walks on the beach and long rides up the coast would totally do it for me…clear my head & fill my heart with whatever it was I was looking for (usually). Now though, being a Mommy & living too far from my mother ocean to soak in her wisdom, it’s my daughter who truly inspires me.

  9. most definatley a long walk with no ipod just the sounds of nature but then again on another day bonjovi can always insire me......

  10. Sometimes inspiration comes from great conversation with thinking people. Other times it's the rare quiet moment and a diet coke.

  11. Get out by myself and appreciate nature. Smell it, touch it, listen to it, take pictures of it, and sometimes yes, even taste it.

    For example, look at an echinacea plant closely -- it's structure is lovely, but even lovelier is the colour combination of rust and pink! Who gets away with putting those colours together? It's little things like that that inspires me to think outside of the box and try new things.


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