Inspiration can come from absolutely anywhere. I believe that it may be a relationship between how the individual sees an object or situation, and their internal needs and attitudes. As such it is my belief that to overcome a barrier to progress in a piece of writing it is necessary to give the senses the opportunity to absorb a range of external stimuli. This then allows the imagination to attach to an appropriate stimulus which triggers the imagination to generate ideas that kick start the writing process once again.
Giant Malaysian Shield Mantis
Hairy panic tumbleweed
Trust the Australians to come up with an apt and accurately descriptive name - hairy panic! It is the stuff that spoof horror films are made from.
Tim Peake's thunder storms from space
The white flashes on the above photographs are lightning flashes over the Earth taken from space by astronaut Tim Peake. Once again the makers of apocalyptic movies will undoubtedly find a use for the shots in the future. In itself views of Earth from space are wonderfully emotive.
“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”
The quote from Aristotle there is simple appreciation of nature but hints at the detail. Some of what we see is simply beautifully.
Autumn in New England
I'm sure some art critics would describe the colours as being too bold or unrealistic, well I am pleased God ignores them and annually endeavours to out do previous glories.
The whole spectrum is applied and when we write there is the opportunity to stretch the imagination as far as it will go. One aspect of my personality, the need for everything in its place etc., is limiting on my imagination but the more I write the easier it has become to let go of reality. It has made me realise that reality is a construct whose limits are set by the individual.
Reality in fact is stranger than fiction. When you consider the limited 'monsters' created in the movies in comparison to the natural world, we ain't doin' that good!
Giant Malaysian Shield Mantis
The Praying Mantis has to be the stuff of nightmares and is one of the 'details' I was referring to above. These creatures are renowned for the females eating the head of the male after mating. It is amazing that they still procreate and yet they do.
My imagination makes me think that within Mantis communities, the male section in particular, that there is hope. I can imagine that the males spend time working together to fashion a method of escape only to fail in the final throes of coitus.
Perhaps I just have a weird mind but the opportunity to create mini stories from strange and wonderful reality is so tempting. Having said that, I'm not the sort of person who can make a story from anything.
One's own history
Of course we all have another personal resource and that is our own past. You can take this as far as you wish and with the internet family research is available to all of us. I'm back as far as 1803 with some degree of optimism, but it isn't the names and dates that are important. It is the detail of the past lives that interest and provide depth.
For example, my earliest ancestor was a farm labourer as was his son, but at some point, due to the opening of coal mines, the family relocated a dozen miles and then began a link with mining that lasted four generations. Those miners would see a transformation from candle lit mines with hand tools to fully mechanised pits. My own father worked under a system called 'power loading' in the 1970s before the mines finally closed. It doesn't take a great deal of imagination to what life was like for people who had to live their lives close to the pit, descending into holes in the ground by ladder and rope, working in damp, filthy conditions hewing coal with a hand pick and bucket, working many hours a day.
Then the improvement to young children working in the mines as well as ponies to haul tubs full of nutty slack. How things have changed.
The point is that the origins of our families provide us with a source of inspiration and we need to utilise every aspect of our personal histories at times.
So when we become stuck with our writing, take the time to delve into the natural world or back in time and empathise with our past or glorify in the riches of our planet. It won't be long before your mind is awash with ideas.