Friday, January 6, 2017

What topics for writing are hiding inside your closets, drawers, boxes in your home?

The dreary, dark days of winter can be a blessing for writers or it can dim creative inspiration. Today is a dark day with warnings of snow this weekend. I  have my essentials for spending a few days in hibernation. For many years the gray days of winter depressed me, but this year I am enjoying my stillness, my solitude at home with my buddy, Lexie, sleeping in front of the heater. I might take a nap myself, later.


Earlier today I was motivated to submit some poems for publication and that prompted me to revise some poetry. It is too easy to let our writing slide down the scale of importance during the holidays and during the dismal days of winter. But don't let that happen. Use this time to go through old photographs, albums, files of clippings we have saved to find topics on which to write. 

No matter what your genre, you might need something to prompt an idea. I use my winter days to clean out and de-clutter my closets, desk drawers, and kitchen. Often objects I see or discard bring back a memory of something or someone I could write about. An old beer can opener reminded me of the time Barry and Stu bought some beer cheese for a picnic in the mountains. They assumed that since they liked beer, they would love beer cheese. NOT. The beer cheese smelled so bad, neither of them wanted to taste it. That odor had permeated the entire trunk of the car. We laughed and laughed. Barry and Stu made more jokes about the cheese and we still laugh about that day.

Yesterday, while culling old Christmas Cards I had saved, I came across notes and letters from friends who live far away. Bill, from California, has been a friend for many years. He and his twin sister were in high school when Barry and I stayed at his home while his parents went away on a trip. Bill likes to refer to us as his baby sitters.

Bill's yearly notes included his memories of working at Zoellner Music with Barry, moving pianos on Christmas Eve, when Barry and I were in our twenties. Later at my family's business, Hercules Bumpers in Pelham, GA. Barry worked in sales and Bill, after going to college, came to work in sales also. Barry trained Bill and Bill became an excellent salesperson for Hercules Bumpers down in New Orleans. Bill introduced me to eating crawfish and sucking the heads. Ugh!

I had some good laughs reading Bill's Christmas notes from many years ago, but some of those cards included bad news. His delightful mother died and left her husband, Wotan, sad and alone. Years later Bill lost Wotan, and sent us a magazine in which his stepfather, the violinist, was featured. In his nineties, he played the classical pieces he first learned when he was four or five  years old. He enjoyed playing for his friends at the assisted living facility where he recided when he died.  

I think I will write about Barry and Wotan and Bill, an interesting relationship that lasted for years after their working together ended.

What might you find in your house that will motivate you to write? A book or a movie? A video of a special event? Use what is in your house, in your drawers or closets to find your topic. 


3 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Love hearing that a writer finds inspiration everywhere...

Glenda Council Beall said...

Yes, EC,Once you become aware of what to do with those things you thing about or remember everything becomes a big box of delightful topics.
Writers can end writers block, if they have it, I don't, by making a list of words that start with a certain letter. Just write every word you can think of that starts with C or P or whatever. Then when you have made the longest list you can make, go back and read it and see what comes to mind with each word on that list. Write that down and when you have finished you will have a list of topics or thoughts to write about.

Tipper said...

What a great post Glenda! Great advice for writers, but also a good read : )