Music is a big inspiration for me. Listening to musicians tell a story in song, inspires me to write my own short (and longer) stories. If I can see a little mini-movie in my head of the story being painted in song, then it’s really good storytelling and I find myself comparing my own stories to that. Some set the bar pretty high. Those who know me know that some of my favorite music is anything by Roger Clyne. Achieving his first hit song with “The Refreshments” then later forming “Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers”, Roger is such a prolific storyteller in song. It’s one of the main reasons I was encouraged to write my own stories. Being successful in the independent music world is no easy task. Roger has turned his passion for storytelling in song into his own way of life recording and being on the road for many weeks out of the year to support his addiction to the music, free of corporate control. Oh, people are skeptical. They’ll say that he plays hard in order to make a living, but it’s also hard work being an independent musician. Have you seen the obscenely low price of tickets to a Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers show? I’m not convinced he’s making enough of a living at it to justify the hard work and expense of a road crew. There’s definitely a deep rooted love for what he does and it’s reflected in the finished product. If you’ve attended a live show, become addicted to the music and be part of the cult audience that follows the band, it’s easy to see why he’s successful at it. He has a passion for what he does; he truly loves performing music for his fans who adore him and the band. That ethic is what inspired me to take my scribbled down thoughts of poetry, short stories and now novels to the next level, getting my writing in print for others to read.
An integral part of “The Refreshments” as bass player, Art Edwards became an independent artist in his own right. Taking a deliberate sabbatical from music when “The Refreshments” disbanded, Art pursued his master’s degree and went on to write his own successful novels. I re-read Art’s writing frequently to refresh (no pun intended) my own writing skills and it gives me a higher standard to aspire to. His first novel “Stuck Outside of Phoenix” is an engaging story of a musician “Hote”, a life building tale that reveals the highs and lows of the music business and the personal relationships he forms along the way. How determination and passion take control of aspirations. His continuation of the adventures of “Hote” in “Ghost Notes” shows a writing skill that I can only hope to achieve a fraction of some day. Both are a perfect example of those little mini-movies in my head as I read the story and lend flesh to the characters, the events in their lives, and gives me a sense of being in the here and now with them. Art is a big inspiration for me and I have much admiration for his determination to succeed independently in the literary world. It’s a tough gig, I am finding out, but I’m enjoying every learning step of the way. Having those pioneers before who’ve paved the way and set examples lends a good role model to aspire to. Congratulations are in order for Art’s third novel “Badge” which has been named a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association Literary Contest in the Mainstream category. Anticipation is killing me, Art! When do we get to read it?
These are two examples of what has been my catalyst to pursue publication of my writing. There are far more that would take a whole ‘nother blog space to mention, like Edgar, (I’ve read his complete works so many times, we’re on a first name basis now) Lee Childs “Jack Reacher” novels are my favorite escape stories, no one weaves suspense with the supernatural like Dean Koontz, and Erma Bombeck always provokes laughing tears at the calamity of family, home and everyday life, are just a few I’ll mention. Recently, I took a short break from heavy reading and am laughing tears at “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Zombies!”, by Michael P. Spradlin, cuz it’s like...totally cool. (You probably have to read the book to get that line, though.)
So...what’s YOUR inspiration? Any artistic aspiration you have is a worthwhile outlet, and I encourage everyone to find your muse. Find the artist within you and celebrate it! I may not make large sums of money selling my writing, and perhaps not appeal to mainstream literary, but I get a wonderful sense of satisfaction and completeness that I wouldn’t have had I not pursued it. Express your unique self!
If you buy “Random Encounters” at my website http://www.lifelovelust.webs.com/ before July 2nd, I’ll throw in a copy of my poetry ramblings “LifeLoveLust”. You can’t beat a two for one offer. I’ll even personally autograph it for you to add to your literary collection, or use to line the litter box with. The choice is yours.
Hug somebody today!