Friday, October 3, 2014


Happy October!


To begin our Quills topic, INSPIRATION, we have a guest author!

Josh Interview!
Author of  The Count of the Living Death and The Astrologer's Portrait
Josh's Website

Joshua Grasso: “Finding Inspiration”

My ideas always come from the same source: usually a work of art, but sometimes, a stray moment or character from an old book. As a professor, I spend even more time than most people in books, and my teaching and research requires me to delve into all kinds of documents: epic poems, Renaissance art, odd biographies ... As a teacher/scholar I’m looking for context for a paper or to explain something in class; as a writer, however, my eyes are alert for some small, teasing detail that suggests a larger narrative.  I always believe the best material is just waiting for you to stumble over ... (read more!)


Author of Oathtaker
Patricia's Website

Patricia is taking this month off. We'll see her in November!


Author of As the Crow Flies and two short stories
Robin's Website

Inspiration comes at me from every direction! Music, other books, news, dreams, conversation, pictures, quotes, you name it! Any of those things can easily set me to wondering how one of my characters might react or how the setting or culture or plot could be changed by employing the “what if” factor. They can spark ideas for new characters and settings, or generate an idea to help me fix problems. In fact… (read more!)


Author of the short story Sanguis Dei 
and the poetry collection Light and Dark 

My story ideas come largely from life. As a young poet of five, I heard my kindergarten teacher say, "Write about what you love and what you know." Write What You Know has become a motto for me. I delve into the people I know, the place where I live, the situations and dramas around me to provide the fodder for my lyrical and literary creations. It is very simple, really. I'm a woman, an artist, a mother, a wife--all these things are in large part instinctual for me. The visceral manner in which I respond to everything I come in contact with inspires me. Emotion and reaction is key. If something moves me, then I am confident it will move others.

Music sets the mood of many a scene I've written. Battle, romance, melancholy all live in the music of Hans Zimmer, John Williams James Horner, The Piano Guys and many others. I find popular Christian music fuels my imagination about a relationship that stands the test of time and all the forces of Hell that might rise against it.

If I come across something I want to write about yet don't know about, I do research. That means note-taking. I'm keep files on my stories. I put pictures, notes--elaborate and simple--about the things I've discovered and how they might apply. With computers, the note-taking has become more complete, more organized than ever before. Programs like Scrivener provide a virtual buffet of options to gather and connect the threads of a tale. Whether by phone, tablet or in the time honored fashion of pen and paper, I write down what I see. I visit the library, watch television for programs about warfare, marvels of history or figures throughout our past who represent similarities to characters and situations about which I'm writing.

Art inspires characters and places. I love museums not only for the art but for the armor, the sense of history, the reality spread before me. But I can be inspired by friends at the grower's market or the grocery store or the bowling alley. I'm excited by life and living it. There's so much going on! I'm always open, always willing to learn. The world and all that's ever happened in it is my inspiration oyster.


Thanks folks for these contributions into how he finds inspiration! Join us again in November for our next installment AND NaNoWriMo!

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