|A swan at the Ice House Pool|
As a writer I am frequently asked where my inspiration comes from. The answer is anywhere and everywhere, life in general, people, events, experiences, comments . . .
Usually when I'm least expecting it and I don't have a camera, recorder or pen and paper to hand. I try committing to memory. I'm still trying to get into the habit of using my mobile phone as a camera. A telephone device that takes pictures? Oh come on! As I said to the assistant in one of these modern phone shops, 'I go back to the days of press Button B to get your money back.' In the good old days one always carried 4 pence (old pennies, the days of pounds, shillings and pence and when there were 240 pennies to the Sterling Pound) in case one needed to make a phone call from one of those red phone boxes. Many will recognise those as 'Book Exchanges' today.
Books evolve from imagination, research and experience. They come into existence through inspiration and after many days and nights of blood, sweat and tears. They begin with that first capital letter and conclude with the final full stop at the end of the last chapter, or round about the 100,000 word mark. Then comes the 'Hallelujah' moment. Next, they're put into cold storage for a while before another reading, professional editing, type-setting/text blocking, proof-reading and finally one sees them in print. One looks in total disbelief!
But what is 'inspiration'?
'Stimulation of the mental or emotional faculties to a high level of feeling, animation or creativity' (Reader's Digest Universal Dictionary).
The one person who has always been my support, idol and inspiration is my father. I admired him for his caring nature, concern for others and general attitude toward life. He was the type of man who could start a party in an empty room. Then there are numerous characters throughout history who have through belief, determination or inspiration achieved great things. Individuals like Florence Nightingale, Mrs Pankhurst, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela and so many more who never gave up their fight for the cause no matter what hardships they endured. Finally, there have been many individuals throughout my life, (teachers, colleagues and friends) who have in one way or another inspired me.
But who or what inspires you? What is it that makes you get up and face each day apart from the basic need of earning an income for survival in the rat race? Why are you leading the life you lead? Why are you doing the job you do? You will have made various choices in life as a result of circumstances. There was probably someone who made you think, 'I want to be like them' or 'I want to do that' and hey presto! You have been inspired.
Personally, when I was teaching the best compliment I ever received came from children who said that I had in some way inspired them. We may not be aware of it but 'inspiration' plays a large part in our lives. Every day when we come into contact with other people we may make a comment or do something totally unaware of the fact that we have inspired someone else.
The photographs I have chosen for this week's blog were taken in the Sandwell Valley at Ice House Pool, a beautiful, peaceful place which I frequently visit and find inspirational and in Pafos, Cyprus. These are just two of the places where I get ideas or dialogue seems to develop for my books.
Time & Tide, my first book a family saga and history of the 1950-2000 period was inspired by my own childhood memories and the fact that the Millennium was approaching. My second book, No Regrets came into existence as a result of both my teaching and divorce experiences.
|Geriskipou Church in Cyprus|
You can still win a copy of LOVE YOU FOREVER
Sunset taken from my hotel room in Pafos.... Inspirational?
Until next week... be inspirational! You never know who you might be inspiring.