Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pictorial Sources of Inspiration for Writers and Bloggers by Diana Flegal

In preparation for last weeks blog, I took a walk around the grounds of my apartment complex looking for an appropriate squeaky wheel photo. I snapped many photos of architectural hardscapes instead of the usual fall foliage. The storm drain, a danger sign and even a wall. The images inspired various topics I could share here, on this blog, and in my writing workshops.

Author Susan Heim Call's newest blog post was inspired when she boarded a plane on her way to a conference this summer. It is titled; Your seat cushion can be used as a floatation device and other tips to equip you for life's little or big emergencies.

I often schedule artist dates on my day off. I browse the local antique malls, scour thrift stores,  visit craft supply stores or take a hike. All inspired by Julia Cameron's book, The Artists Way. It unleashes my creativity.

This colorful, rusty hydrant entertained me with a dozen questions. How long ago had it been placed there. Had it ever supplied water to quench a fire at the assisted living center, whose yard it graced? Were the first responders young or weary warriors? Is it still in service? Does that square tightened down shank hold back a gushing geyser? Where would they take the residents to wait out such an event? The rose garden or the front yard? How often do they have a fire drill?

I pray they are ready and practiced, in the event of any emergency.

When I spied this sewer cap, I marveled that the manufacturer had taken the time to actually design it. A decorative touch for such a functional object. Was he or she a frustrated artist forced to join the family business because it was often said "What are you, crazy? You can't make a living painting pretty pictures"!

Inspiration can be found anywhere. Keep your eyes open.



David B. Smith said...

What a God-given gift to find inspiration, humor, even poignant eternal truth in the smallest of details. I love how you spotted "design" in the cap on a sewer line. The legendary preacher, C. D. Brooks, once was called upon to deliver an emergency sermon with virtually no notice. Out in the parking lot, he happened to spot a nail. He picked it up, prayed over it, and the creative juices trained through decades of ministry and an observational eye kicked in. Less than ten minutes later, he stood in the pulpit, preached about the nail, and stirred a congregation of hundreds. So you're right . . . we've got to keep our eyes (and hearts) open. Thanks for a classic post!

Diana said...

Thank you David. I would have enjoyed that sermon. :-)

Anonymous said...

Diana, Good idea. I'm going to start looking for more inspiring things. Once an old watershed intrigued me and had me asking those questions you mentioned.

Diana said...

That is great, Zoe. When I lived in South Dakota, I would often see abandoned houses dotting the prairies. I wondered what dreams did they have when they first settled there? Did they have children, lose one to a childhood disease, or have the joy of seeing them marry and gift them grandchildren?

I even try to guess things about the members of a household when I see wash drying on an outside line. LOL Maybe there is a book inside me waiting to be written? :-)