Thursday, October 09, 2008

Muse Quest PDX

Romancing the Creative Life in Portland, Oregon

Kim Switzer

Inspiration From Others

Have you ever read something that made you want to set it down and write something of your own? It happens to me quite a lot. If I’m having trouble starting a new story, I’ll seek out writings from my favorite authors and poems just to find a little spark for myself in their words.

I am thinking about this today mostly because this is the anniversary of the publication of my favorite Edgar Allan Poe poem, “Annabel Lee.” (The poem was published in 1849, two days after his death.) My favorite lines in the poem: “And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side/Of my darling -my darling -my life and my bride.” I don’t know why, but those lines have given me a thrill ever since I was a child, and whenever I read the poem, I itch to write something spooky and atmospheric in response.

Some other lines that stir my muse:

From “Lost” by David Wagoner: “Wherever you are is called Here,/And you must treat it as a powerful stranger.”

From “Tapu’at House” by Charles de Lint: “In the Fairy House,/Coyote sleeps.”

And this line from Terri Windling, and I don’t remember where it’s from I think maybe from The Wood Wife: “rustlings in the midnight wood.”

So…stuck? Not sure what you feel like working on just now? Grab some of your favorite books and poems and start reading (this works for visual artists, too). Wait for a line to grab you. When it does, write it down then keep writing, anything that comes to mind. And keep more paper or paintbrushes or whatever your art needs nearby. This always stirs up my creativity. I’ll bet it will do the same for you.

Kim Switzer is an aspiring novelist and avid dabbler in various visual and fiber arts, especially embroidery, beaded embroidery, oil painting, and her new-found love--art quilting. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her boyfriend, her cat, and various incarnations of her muse. For more information or to contact Kim, you can use the
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