Unquiet Mind

In that foggy intermediate state between sleep and wake, the dream starts.  No.  Not a dream.

Unease, a tingle at the base of the skull, finds a spot and waits.  The unease creeps along the spine, quick and determined.  When it gathers its strength, it transforms itself into fear.  The fear is a living thing, which detaches itself, now a beast.  The beast has tentacles.  Each dreadful tentacle coils and uncoils, nearly touching, not touching.  It stays just out of the field of vision. Only detectable by a shift in the air.

The heart squeezes, blood races through constricted vessels. Each breath comes in short, shallow gasps. The eyes slam open.  To nothing. Darkness. Solitude.

A gentle breeze sighs through the open window.  The cicadas hum. It’s the only noise.

Except for the pounding of the heart. And the crackle of the unquiet mind.

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Finding the inspiration to write.

New writers, experienced writers, amateur or professional —meaning you actually get paid for this stuff, at some point, will struggle to find something to write about. Even non-fiction writers may wrestle with finding new ways to express themselves so that their writing doesn’t become stale or monotonous. And yet, we do write on. Writers have unique ways of working through the times we get stuck and can’t move forward.

I am a very visual person. Even while I write, I am imagining the scene as if it is a film rolling in my head. I cast actors in the roles of all my characters, even minor ones. I’ve drawn the layouts of houses and other buildings, charted maps of my fictional locations and collected photos and images for all of it on Pinterest boards for each project. I’ve kept my ongoing project boards private, but you are welcome to check out the public ones here.

So because I like having a visual stimulus, I often use art as an inspiration to write.

Finding beautiful things to gaze upon does not require a trip to an art museum. Although, that’s not a bad way to idle away an afternoon. Speaking of Pinterest, they have an entire category dedicated to art. There you will find not only images of major works of art but also those of unknown and amateur artists, which are no less compelling.

How about street art? Do you live in or near a city or town that supports and/or encourages street art? Philadelphia has a fantastic Murals Art project.


Check out their website for more photos here.

Seriously, don’t you feel a story just begging to be written about some of those pieces of art? Go write one! There are street art photo tours online from different cities around the world. I encourage you to check them out.

Have you heard about the book Beauty In Decay: The Art of Urban Exploration? You can find it on Amazon. It is a stunning photographic collection of abandoned buildings accompanied by poetic text. Tell me that isn’t fuel for the fire of storytelling. What happened here? Who lived there? Why did everyone leave? Some images can be viewed online if you don’t want to shell out the $35 for the book.

Lastly, let me share a few of my favorite images, ones that have conjured ideas for writing. The header image is “The Grey Tree” by Piet Mondrian. I stared at that image on and off while writing a winter scene. It’s so stark and cold. And I love that you can see the brush strokes. It speaks of darkness, of cold, of death….

Or how about a masterpiece? Van Gogh’s Sunflowers? Monet’s Garden at Giverny? Picasso’s Guernica?

And I’m just dying to write something based on the sculptures by Matteo Pugliese. I won’t hijack an image here but I urge you to check out his work at MatteoPugliese.com. His bronze figures emerge from the walls like human forms escaping imprisonment from life in the second dimension. I’m telling you…

While you’re at it, explore the art and photography blogs here on WordPress. Some of the images are amazing. I follow a couple of bloggers who regularly post some fabulous images for the daily and weekly photo challenges they participate in. Stop and stare at them for a while. Based on what you see, imagine what happens next. Or ask yourself, what just happened here? After all the root word for imagine is image! I hope these suggestions help you find some inspiration. Happy writing my friends!