Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Reclaiming the Mojo

I’m feeling rather uninspired lately, and I’ve been thinking about what – exactly – does inspire me to spend months of my time and energy writing a story. I used to be inspired by everything. Any little snippet of conversation got me going, a commercial on T.V., a song lyric, something my son said…anything! And now? Very little makes me burn with that unquenchable fire to write—write all day, every minute and into the night for weeks until I type that last, glorious word.

Which is totally lame. It means, unfortunately, that I am uninspired.
I don’t understand why this is happening (although I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with insecurities and fear), only that it is, and I have to fix it somehow. I’ve tried waiting it out, hoping it was just a phase and would work itself out. Nope. I’ve tried forcing myself to write, but I absolutely HATE every word that comes from that, so I stopped. Now? I’ve got a new idea. And I’m sharing it here in the hopes that it’ll help others out there who have (temporarily) lost their mojo.
For me, inspiration comes largely from two things: music and images. I’m very visual. If I see it, I understand it better. It’s why I print out all of my manuscripts and put them in binders so I can mark them with pen. Yes, it’d be easier to do on Word, but for whatever reason, I like to hold the book in my hands. It helps me grasp the book better. (haha, I made a pun!)
Anyway, images. I’m GREATLY inspired by images. My favorite image-hunting website is It’s awesome. Totally diverse. Completely shocking at times, and heartwarming/breaking at others. So often, I go there and scour the pages, saving images at my computer to look at later when I need inspiration. Well, I need it now. But just looking at the images does very little. I have to actually do something with them. (Write about them. Duh.) Which I’ve never done. Usually, I just hoard them all up into a folder on my desktop and let them sit there. Not helpful. So I decided to do a little exercise to get my juices flowing.

I’m going to pick three images and write a little story about each one. My sister, who majored in Creative Writing (GO ‘NOLES!), would call this Flash Fiction. She’d be right.
Since this post has gone on long enough, I’ll do one right now and post the other two tomorrow**. Then, I’m going to do a few songs, because let’s face it: music is awesome.
Well…here goes!

She was asleep when I found her. Early morning sun pounded out her skin tone, flashing white on my eyes and making me wince. Endless tendrils of black hair stretched around her face, bleeding like an ink spill on the sand. She laid face-up, arms splayed out to the side as if she’d fallen asleep while making a snow angel. It was impossible that she was here – too strange to be allowed.
I didn’t understand the why, but I did understand one thing: this wasn’t a coincidence. I realized, finally that she was meant for me, after all. Everything else – all the excuses, the fear, the drama – it all faded to white, blinding me like her skin.
Without totally realizing I was doing it, I dropped my guitar, and walked toward her. The shush of the ocean lapping at her toes drew my attention. She was soaking wet from high-tide. She’d been here all night. Something stopped in my chest and I bent without hesitation, bringing my face so close to hers I could feel the sun’s warmth rebounding off of her skin and onto mine. I stared upside down at her, waiting to feel the tiny hairs above my lip tickle with her breath.
Warm, steady air caressed me. She was breathing. The adrenaline rush ceased, leaving me numb. What was she doing here like this? I should wake her but I just . . . couldn’t. Instead, all I could think about was how devastatingly beautiful she was. I wondered if I kissed her now, would she wake? Would she remember? Was it wrong?
I didn’t know enough about her to determine whether she’d find an unconscious kiss romantic or molestation. In truth, I’d never spoken a word to her. She did all the talking, and she only ever said five words to me: “Play me a song, Will.” Every day, every lunch period underneath the oak on the front lawn, she would escape her silly, shallow friends and find me. She would sit opposite me on the benches, mottled daylight painting her face with spots of yellow and white, and say those five words. I would pick out a new song for her, gathering inspiration from the color of her shirt, or the curve of her lips, or the way just her presence made my heart stutter in my chest. And then the bell would toll; she would send me a grateful, yet almost disappointed smile…and walk away.
I’d never understood why she came to see me every day, or what, exactly, she wanted from me. But none of that mattered. All that mattered was that for ten minutes a day, she was mine and no one else’s.
Now, once again, she was mine, only everything was different. She was asleep, and I was motionless above her – paralyzed with the fear that she would awaken and everything would disappear as it always did. In her sleep, she seemed to smile – a wan, almost-smile that made me wonder if she knew, somewhere deep in the labyrinth of her mind, that I was there. Did she even want me there?
Then, as if she’d grown tired of my hesitancy, she sighed. Her eyes fluttered, and everything began to shatter. My moment was passing – I couldn’t let that happen.
“Melanie,” I whispered. My lips were so close to hers I could all but feel them part beneath me.
“Are you going to kiss me?” she asked.
I blinked. “Do you want me to?”
She grinned. “Yes.”
I touched my nose to hers, and crushed my eyes closed. “Do you even know who I am?”
I pulled back slightly to see whether she would open her eyes.
She didn’t.
Instead she reached up and touched my arm, squeezing it gently. Through pink, perfect lips, she said, “Play me a song, Will.”
And I did. Only this time, there was no music.
**So pretty much all of them will be gushy and romantic because well....I'm gushy and romantic. I'll do my best to find ONE that isn't TOO romantic. ;)


  1. You have such beautiful imagery!

  2. Why thank you! Also you're my first commenter! Which makes you my favorite one as well. ;)


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