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  • Writer's picturejljackola

Weekend Whimsies

Updated: Sep 5, 2021

This week has been a week of reflection for me. As I dive back into Riven for a final read-through before release, I'm reminded of the inspiration that led me to write it as well as the rest of the series. So for today's blog, I thought I would talk a bit about inspiration.

People find inspiration in many different forms, writers especially. I once had someone ask me what authors inspired me, and I rambled off a few names. Then, upon reflection, I realized that I'd been wrong. Those authors had shaped the genre that I write and the way I write, but they weren't my inspiration for the story itself. Music had been my inspiration, and it remains so today.

My main characters were created years ago when I was an over-imaginative teenager, filling my ears with the sounds of Stevie Nicks and U2, but the story itself didn't take shape until many years later. I remember distinctly driving my then two-year-old daughter around in the car to get her to sleep and listening to Celtic Woman. As the music played and the voices sang, my characters came to life, and the true story was born. It is that muse that has continued to drive the writing of the series. Celtic Woman was my original muse, and as the story has developed, they are still the foundation, but I've discovered that movie and TV show soundtracks ignite my imagination as well. My playlist is now filled with soundtracks such as Game of Thrones, Chronicles of Narnia, Queen's Gambit, and, most recently, Raya and the Last Dragon. It's an array of music that offers diverse inspiration, each fitting to different moods needed to fuel the story.

As the music flows, the instruments crescendo and diminuendo, so do the movements within the scenes. My pen is often an outlet of the music's power, moving as if it has a life of its own through the scenes, the emotions, the drama. It's as if nothing exists but the music, the pen, and the paper. For me, it's an intense but relaxing experience. It soothes my soul and calms my thoughts, but the power of the music and, at times, the emotion of the characters, can leave me quite drained. Often times, when I look back upon the words on the page, I'm surprised to see the story that unfolded as if I were lost in a trance the entire time.

As you go through this week, I hope you find inspiration in the many small things that come your way. Enjoy the music that is the background of your life whether it be through the music of artists, the music of a child's laugh, or the music of nature. I will be embracing the music that fills my life for those days, and thinking onward to the next story.

Until then...

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