Via Flickr | photosteve101
Via Flickr | photosteve101

For each writer, or painter, or composer, inspiration comes from a different source. We are not all the same, and our muses work from a variety of points of inspiration.

Because I have a good memory, I have been able to draw from my childhood easily when working on my memoir. When my mother died, she left an abundance of old black and white photos. They have helped me pinpoint her expressions, both when happy and not so happy. But this week, inspiration arrived in an email.

My cousin, Rosie Lee, sent an email out of the blue. We communicate from time to time but not often. Her email held her stories of two experiences she had with my mother — one when she was nine and the other after she had become a mother. Both were contrary to my own experiences but timely as I am working on a part of my draft focusing on the goodness in my mother, goodness seen and heard from others.

Rosie also mailed a lovely collection of black and whites which included one of my mother holding me when I was about eight months old. I had never seen that photo. In it, my mother’s eyes are shining and her smile spells happiness. Her expression speaks love. That photo told me she truly was glad to have me in her life despite the experiences that took place over the next 50+ years.

One photo moved me to a pinnacle of inspiration for drafting this portion of my memoir about Mother’s goodness and graciousness to others. There are surprises in store for my readers as this part of the memoir unfolds, and I believe I may be in for a few more surprises myself.

Thanks to Rosie for her loving email and sharing with me her experiences as well as sending those photos, such important chronicles of our lives with my mom.

Now, how about you? Where do you find your inspiration? Is it in people, places, photos, nature, art objects? Share with us, if you will.

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What’s next? On Tuesday, October 15th, I have the privilege of hosting Carol Bodensteiner in an interview. Carol and I exchange a variety of questions and answers, and one fascinates me — how she is accomplishing the switch from her memoir to a historical novel. Come and find out!