I'd like to thank author Pippa Jay for guest blogging today at Spacefreighters Lounge. I got to know Pippa through the Six Sentence Sunday exercise, and became intrigued with her thought-provoking and well-crafted excerpts. We've been exchanging thoughts and ideas on writing and publishing ever since.
When I read her recently published short story, I was highly impressed with her visual prose and the dilemma her main character faces, and asked if she'd be interested in guest blogging.
The Bare Bones of Inspiration
by Pippa Jay
I see authors being asked this question all the time: “Where did you get your inspiration from?” In truth, there are as many answers given as there are books: music, art, family, scientific discoveries; anything and everything. Sometimes certain stories have one single spark that brought them to life. Sometimes you have to search for them. Sometimes you have to really dig …
Aggrieved sigh from husband. “What?”
“My tutor said that final assignment didn’t count as a short story. Said it wasn’t complete.” Well, a 1500 word limit when I’ve been writing 40K plus for a year was always going to be a challenge.
“Did you fail?”
“Oh, no, I passed. Not as good a mark as I was hoping for, but I passed.” Guess I wasn’t teacher’s pet.
“What are you worried about then?”
“Well, I wish I could write short stories. I guess I’m no good at them.”
Husband makes a disapproving noise. “Now you sound like our eldest.” Mimics the whining tone of our petulant, eight-year-old daughter. “I can’t doooo it! It’s toooooo hard!”
“Oh, shut up!”
Husband’s eyebrows raise. “Well …”
A few weeks later and I’m sitting on a stony beach with the sun blazing down and a chill wind skimming off the water. The children are throwing pebbles into the estuary, their laughter a distant sound. Behind me, the scraggy grasses clinging to the dunes hiss and whisper loudly as the sea breeze dances through them. Strangely it’s very soothing, if a tad cold. It’s a little like waking up from a deep sleep - - a bit hazy, nothing quite real.
“Er, dunno.” Silence for a moment. “Whale bones?”
The Bones of the Sea.
Three thousand words later and I have a story. A short story. A moral sci-fi tale tied into the same Universe as my main manuscripts. It’s had 126 downloads so far and four readers have left five-star reviews. People seem to like it. And all it is came from what I saw in a pile of shells and a few sticks on the beach.
So now let me ask you: Where does your inspiration come from? And what’s the weirdest thing that’s sparked an idea for you?