Monday, June 3, 2013

Inspiration

“What inspires the stories you write?”

If someone were to ask you that question, how would you respond?

While contemplating my own response, I grabbed my dictionary, one of my favorite resources when I’m penning a work of fiction. Here’s what I found:

In-spi-ra-tion
            1. Act of breathing in; specif., the drawing of air into the lungs.
            2. Act or state of being intellectually or emotionally inspired.
            3. Theol., A supernatural influence which qualifies men to receive and communicate
                        divine truth.
            4. Any inspiring influence, person, etc.
(Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1956)


Image courtesy of David Castillo
Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jumping to the third definition first, my ultimate inspiration is God. Though it may seem like the expected reaction from a Christian author, it is anything but a pat answer. My relationship with God is where my life begins. Without His guidance and quiet, steady voice, none of my words would have the strength to stand the test of time. They would not hold my readers’ attention, and you would click away from the screen right now. Before I type a single word for any project I work on, I bow my head and pray for the right words to reach the right people in the right way at the right time. Maybe there’s something for you in my writing. Perhaps someone on the other side of the globe will see the precise thing that will touch their heart. In both cases, it isn’t me who’s reaching you. It’s God. He gave me these words to write.

My second source of inspiration fits into the fourth definition. The people around me constantly give me a reason to crank out the words. My students in particular make my creative wheels turn. One of the girls I tutor had her last session of the school year with me recently. All year I’ve seen this youngster’s sweet and caring personality when she eagerly told me all about her two sisters. Sneakiness and mystery surrounded her during her last week in my home when she asked me my favorite color and if I had any of the Willow Tree figurines. I had to chuckle (after she left, of course) at her overt plans for an end-of-the-year gift for me. Her kind gift was filled with thoughtfulness and a heart bigger than Texas, the state we live in. The biggest surprise of it all was that she created her own math problem—and solved it correctly—inside the ‘thank you’ card she included with the figurine. I couldn’t have been more proud of her for applying what she learned from me in such a creative way. Tears stung my eyes as my heart was touched and inspired.

I could go on and on about the various things and people that inspire me—there are so very many. Instead, I’ll leave you with these thoughts:

“Whatever a poet writes with enthusiasm and a divine inspiration is very fine.” ~Democritus


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So, tell me: What inspires YOU?


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