Sunday, May 18, 2008

Finding Inspiration

Do you find inspiration in the town you live in, its countryside, rivers and streams, fields and mountains? Is there something about the atmosphere that gives you material to write about?

I live in a historical town in western Maryland. I love downtown --- the old buildings, the park, the promenade along the creek that runs through it, and the history. I get a feeling of connecting with the past here.

My writing desk sits under a window facing west. I can see the mountains and the farm field, the park across the way, and the grove of evergreens. Central and western Maryland's countryside, especially along the Potomac, are huge inspirations for my writing. I write historical fiction, partially set in this part of Maryland, and living here enables me to visualize a story. I've had moments where I've stood on the shoreline of the river, breathed in the air, gazed across to Harpers Ferry, and felt a kind of pull to write about what came before us. The area is rife with history, some of it long forgotten, but hidden away in the Maryland Room at the library. I discovered the storylines to my novels there.

Share with me. Do you find inspiration to write from where you live?


Celia Yeary said...

Well, yes, Rita. I write mainly Texas Historicals, although I have a few contemporary Texas novels tucked away in my computer.I live in Central Texas, the Hill Country, formed millions of years ago by an earthquake, forming the Balcones Escarpment, limestone hills covered in ancient, thick live oak trees. Fresh water springs, the purest water on the face of the earth, gush up from the cracks, forming rivers and spring lakes.On the square downtown is a bronze statue of Jack C. Hays, early Texas Ranger, on a rearing horse, the man in his big hat, high boots, and rifle held into the air. Our county is named for him. Out in the hills, if you go scouting, you can find different kinds of arrowheads, alongside marine fossils from long, long ago. The Spanish were first through this area, and ministered to the natives, and left their mark in the form of a small rock chapel above Springlake. Divers come from everywhere to dive in the the spring lake to find Indian artifacts mixed in with early Spanish remnants.
Interstate 35 runs north and south through our small city, and alongside is Texas Highway 21,from San Antonio,north and east to the Lousiana border. This highway follows the old El Camino Real, The King's Highway, blazed in the 1700's when the Spanish explorers first entered Texas from the East.My series of novels, the Texas Trilogy plus ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS follow this old trail as my characters move across Texas.
I enjoyed reading about Maryland--so different from Texas--but still, you take the history and the people and create stories. Is there anything on earth more fun than this? If not one other person in this world reads my stories, I am still fully entertained.Thanks, Rita! Celia Yeary

Historical Writer/Editor said...

Hello, I live in Colorado, and it has an impact on many of the things I write. Colorado became a state in 1876, and I've researched this era.
In our gorgeous mountain areas, we have a lot of 19th century mining towns...very charming.
Denver had an interesting beginning as well. -Laura H.

Anita Davison said...

Hi Rita, the only view I have from the window where I work is a small, town garden. However If I step outside my front door and turn right, after a short walk there is a 17th century house down on the river Thames, built in 1610 when the river was the main transport link to London. The house and grounds have been restored to look as if the owners have merely stepped out for a while. For a 17th Century buff like me, this me this is bliss and I go there often to get my atmospheric fix. Richmond Park is a few minutes walk in the other direction, with its deer and lush trees and green areas which I can ‘see’ as my characters’ country estate and of course, central London is nine miles away and chock full of the history I thrive on. I cannot think of anywhere else I would rather be.

Gwyn Ramsey said...

Hi, I live in southwestern Florida on the coast and enjoy the easy living down here. Stepping out through the sliding doors from my bedroom, kitchen, or front room onto the lanai that overlooks a saltwater canal is breath taking.
This morning two manatees were playing along the bank, nibbling at the branches that dipped into the water. The mother was more aggressive while the baby seemed to just enjoy playing in the water. Sometimes a dolphin swims upstream or an alligator will hover in the middle of the canal. When the mullet jump, they flop sideways, showing their white bellies. It's interesting to watch them make three jumps, swirling the water in a multitude of rings.
There is much inspiration from my lanai that keeps me writing each day.