What Inspires You?

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As we come down the home stretch of 2015, I have much to be thankful for. In September, I officially launched workshops for Fresh Pond Writers and a month later received my first acceptance for a short story.

That story, “Williams,” which imagines a future where Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams is awoken from his cryogenic sleep was inspired two years ago by an essay from the brilliant David Rakoff about cryonics. I’m not a big fan of baseball and didn’t know that Ted Williams had been put into cryogenic suspension until I read that essay.

More recently I wrote a story called White Bear, which was directly inspired by this poignant video by Rosanna Wan, “A Tale of a Sickly Whale.” There is also a song by Neko Case, This Tornado Loves You, that keeps working its way into my writing, though I’ve yet to figure out the narrative. It’s a work in progress.

I’m struck by how these pieces have touched me and inspired me to produce stories. I’m grateful for the art that has fed my own art and it makes me wonder if any specific piece of art has ever inspired you to craft a piece of writing.

4 Comments on “What Inspires You?”

  1. Thought provoking as usual, Tracy. I would say my inspiration such as it is comes from anywhere and everywhere. The latest story I wrote was a response to reading the fiction of John Cheever–and then reading the life of Cheever, and noting the striking gap between the fiction and his bio. So this one came from a certain literary immersion. Other ideas have come from stuff that happened to me when I was a kid; the news and current events; often a character is the seed, based on some ‘character’ I have known; and some stories seem to be purely synthetic, although I labor to make them seem organic. In every case the inspiration is fleshed out so much that often little of it is left at the end, or none of it is. The longer form–the novel–is even more a barnacled thing, some nugget that starts a growth process which makes the little idea at the core seem negligible.

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