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Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Recently I read this in a authors blog: ''What motivates you?'' So, here is the answer...

What motivates me? That is an interesting question.

Music: I often write to music, a novel will have several pieces that illustrate the emotion of the moment. Often it will be classic music like Beethoven and Copland. Sometimes it will be modern stuff, Selena Gomez or Green Day. After I have started a story and know what a particular scene should be, I will hear music and the scene will start to set itself. The sways of emotion illustrated by the music will bring about the changes in the moment of that scene.
While traveling home from Detroit one day, I had 8 hours to wait so I put on the headphones and turned on my ipod. I was listening to Copland’s Appalachian Spring (one of my all-time favorite pieces of music.) I had been working on a Christian novel and was lost on how to translate a scene I wanted to create. The soft, broad, beautiful tones that resonate like the sun pouring over the cliffs at dawn began to tell me what I wanted to know. I could see the scene, the characters, and the emotion. Over and over the scene ran in my head and I knew what I wanted to write. By the time I got home I could not control my fingers I got to a computer and started to write. The music played in my head, but the ipod was off, I just knew that it was right.

Art: I draw a little; it is a hobby of mine. I also am a fan of Art History. I love ancient art to 19th century art, not that big in 20th century styles. I can see a story in the background of a piece, or the emotion painted into the faces of the figures. If I know of a character I want to write, I will start to draw him or her, and pretty soon the image will tell me things about the character that I didn't know.
Once, I was working on a piece for a secondary character in a science fiction story. He was a member of a humanoid cat race. The model I used happened to be a swimmer and his thighs really showed it. After I got done with the picture, I realized that my character would have a little more depth if he loved to swim, which was contrary to many of the others of his race. It added just that much more to the story and to him.

Suggestion: Often I will hear something, or see something that will ignite that passion in me to write. About two years ago, my embroiders guild president announced that the stitching convention in 2011 would be themed ''Magic''. I knew they meant Vegas style magic, but I love fantasy and the idea of a magical stitching story consumed my thoughts. I started to craft characters and settings and eventually came up with a book. Of course this is my most recent novel;  The Crystal Needle.

For The Crystal Needle, I used Gershwin music as well as some by Miley Cyrus. I found some old Japanese and colonial American art, and I invested time in the study of unique embroidery. All of these elements came together to support this developing story. True, I will never believe it is complete, as I can always make additions and corrections. But, as it stands now, I am proud of it.
Anyone can find inspiration in meeting a person, a personal experience, or simply sitting and concentrating on an idea. I have used these methods as well. What motivations I have are likely one or more of the three I detailed.

That, in a nutshell, is what motivates me.

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