What inspires you to write?

A certain feeling, or idea? A shade, or color? A memory, or a dream?

Grab every little thing that sparks your imagination, and use it. The bobbing head of a black bird, the way a leaf twists in the chill wind, the boiling shape of a cloud. The twirl of your gut while falling from a height, the similar twirl while falling in love, the flare of anger in your chest, the prickle of anxiety on your scalp. The mystery of an unopened box… the unease of a dark corner… the satisfaction of a smoothly interlocking puzzle…

Gather all these feelings and burn them in your mind’s furnace to fuel your fingers and write, write, write!

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Thought is a luxury we should not take for granted.

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Sometimes we all feel like we have no time to relax and think. But imagine for a moment a field worker or a miner or any other manual laborer, living just a couple centuries ago. Such a person probably didn’t know how to read, or not how to read for enjoyment. They worked day all day with barely a time for a thought, and if they did have time to think–what they thought about was probably how to get food, and how not to die of illness, and other stressful worries.

Today, even a poor laborer working for minimum wage knows how to read, and can read any number of books on any subject they wish. And though they  might not have much time to think, when they do have time they have the fuel for that thought right at their fingertips in a library, or on the internet.

Us thinkers are lucky to be alive today. Most other time periods would have either drowned our minds in work and worry, or starved them for lack of access to information.

 

Red magic?

 

I’m using Lucent Dreaming‘s writing prompt, because I ran out of ideas today!

What is Red Magic? Red is associated with love, and anger… both closely related. Passionate feelings are given the color red. I wonder why that is? It could be because blood is red, and this primal fact, deep in our brains, causes the association of red with painful, or powerful feelings of life and death.

Fire is also red… and is given the same characteristics of love and anger… consuming, unstoppable, destructive, hot…

What would red magic be? Probably something that flung you into blind, passionate love, set your mind ablaze with a broiling rage, and set you on fire in actual flames, all at once.

A piece to the puzzle…

Still running my mind through all the stuff I pulled out of the aether when writing this novel I’m now trying to rewrite.

It is a very satisfying feeling when I find a way to make the pieces fit. A connection clicks and it’s like ‘ah, yes, that must be what I was really planning all along…’

The less I plan, the more I realize I don’t need to. It just gets in the way for me. My true style is ‘write whatever comes to mind and make it sensible later.’

You should try it! Trust yourself to be able to make it work, and revel in the freedom of writing on whims.

Describing a face

How do you do it? I wonder if one can really use words to describe a face accurately. People tend to default to faces they’ve seen before, or shapes they are familiar with.

I am trying something with a character of mine, and have picked a face of a real person to use as my characters face. After I describe her, I’ll see if it is at all similar to what my readers imagined…

Could be interesting to see how close I can get to putting that face in people’s minds!

Monastery life

I think I could be happy being a monk/scholar/priest, whatever you want to call it. A person who leaves behind ‘life’ in order to devote themselves to the world of the mind/spirit. If I could spend every waking hour studying, reading, learning, teaching, etc, I think I could give up material possessions and all the things involved in ‘real’ life.

This is what the character in ‘the glass bead game’ has done. He is devoting his life to study and learning, and introspection. This sounds very appealing to me. I sometimes think I could be happy if I could just be left to my own interests with a safe place to sleep and enough food not to starve.

But… the appeal of all the entertainment and other things I consume daily is strong, and might not be so easy to give up…

Mind games

I’ve started reading ‘The Glass Bead Game’ by Herman Hesse, mainly because the title made me think of go. The story features a fictional game that is very abstract and deals with concepts and ideas as the ‘pieces’. The players are intellectual elites who use pieces of knowledge or pieces of culture to play their games. The opening of the book is a history of the game’s origins and evolution to its current state, in the future world of the novel.

This opening, detailing a fictional future world where intellect and the mind are valued, made me wish our world could be like that. Thinking and knowledge for the sake of it, for the improvement of your own self and your understanding of the world–is not ‘in fashion’ anymore in our world. Knowledge and intellect are valued only as much as they can be used to make money or increase power. Philosophy is laughed at, the arts are considered a waste of time, history is viewed as a political tool, music is for selling tickets.

Can we return to an age of thought and reason and imagination and introspection? It’s what our species does best–what makes us stand out from the other animals. Let’s not let it fall away in favor of fighting and destruction.