Inspiration- Part 1: Helen
One of my favorite aspects of being a writer being able to share a piece of myself with the rest of the world in a tangible way. On a person level, I don’t believe that ends just with having other read the story that has been created. It also includes sharing the thought process, the synaptic firing sequence, if you will, that eventually lead to what came out on the page.
To that end, I am going to endeavor to explain at least some of how I arrived at the world of the “Walker Women” series. More specifically, I’d like to delve into some of the ingredients that went into the major characters in these stories.
Any new venture begins with a spark. A flash of insight. A glimpse behind “what is” into the realm of “what could be.” Some people call this daydreaming. Others label it “flights of fancy.” I just like to call it by its given name: Inspiration.
Inspiration comes in various guises for various people, and at various times. Generally speaking, though, what a person observes and experiences in his or her environment is what provides its most fertile soil.
I am no exception.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been enchanted by two things: The arts, and humanity. More specifically, what the arts could teach us about humanity.
My favorite pastimes were listening to music and watching movies. Though I was too young to recognize it at the time, I believe these activities captivated me so much because they provided a glimpse into the realm of the soul. Something I found difficult to find in the everyday world.
Along with this intense fascination with the arts came an equally tense fascination with its creators. Especially the ones who were the most visible. Like most suburban, middle-class youth, I had a penchant for celebrity-worship (admittedly a trait that still lingers).
When I first started writing the character of Helen, none of the above crossed my mind. The only two characteristic I had in my mind were that a) she was mother, and b) she was a witch.
Being a witch by its very nature made Helen a woman easily enchanted with magic. I could relate. The melodies and dreamy images that mesmerized me as a youngster had an element of magic to them, too. By extension, I didn’t find it hard to believe Helen would have a fondness for such, things, as well. And the people who created them. Cue her fixation on Jason Freeman.
Helen’s relationship with Jason itself plays out like a film. Admittedly, it was a bit of a fantasy-fulfillment. I have entertained a few daydreams about a few male “stars” in my day. Imagined I was a part of their world, and being able to share mine with them. What better way to make those fancies become a reality, of sorts, than on the page?
Helen is an example of a character from which I drew in large part from myself. Coming soon, I will be turning my discussion to Jason, a character whose creation came from an entirely different avenue. Whose life experience bared no resemblance to mine, and who, truth be told, included a significant amount of imagination vs. concrete, real world experience.
Until then, my dear readers, I would love to hear from you! What inspires you? Is it the topsy-turvy, up and down happenings of your own life? Or is it observations and information that seeps into your consciousness from the world around you? Both?