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Monday, July 16, 2012

What Inspires You?

I took this picture on Naxos - in Greece

I’ve blogged about this before, but I thought it was time to revisit the topic. What inspires your writing? Where do you pull your ideas from?

I was thinking about that the other day and for me, the answer is travel.  I’ve been really fortunate to have traveled a great deal in my life, and a number of the places I’ve been have really had an impact.  There is something really exciting about finding yourself in a place where you don’t understand the culture, or the language.  When I start itching to travel, it's usually that feeling that I'm looking for. The feeling of being awestruck, confused, and frightened in the same instant. 

So, for the next few posts on my blog, I’d like to talk a bit about how travel has inspired me.

First up: RUINS.

Nothing quite invokes my imagination like standing in the middle of a ruined structure. What was it like a thousand, two thousand, four thousand, eight thousand … years ago? What did people do when they came here? Could historians have it all wrong? It’s that last question that really gets my mind working. It’s also where dozens of book-ideas come from for me.

Here are a few of the ruins I’ve seen, and here's where I issue you a challenge: Without using the internet, how many of these places can you identify? Or, can you at least name the country where they're found? (I'll put the locations beneath the pictures in a couple days). ETA: I noticed that hovering over the picture told the locations :/ so I decided to just put the locations down.

a) Thailand
b) Greece
c) Turkey
d) Greece
e) Myanmar (Burma)
f) Guatemala
g) Italy
h) Mexico


JeffO said...

You are well traveled, sir. There is definitely a feeling to ruins that can inspire, or creep out. You start walking around and looking there and wonder what it was like back in the day. Definitely can get things going. For me, though, a lot of 'inspiration' comes from everyday things--conversations, stories on the news, things I see and hear. Looking forward to hearing more of your travel stories.

Diane Carlisle said...

I don't know where any of these are, but they are definitely beautiful and I envy you having actually been there to witness these places.

Steven W said...

JeffO - Conversations and news stories help me too. I tend to build a lot of characterizations from those sources. What genre do you write in, and for what group (adults/kids)?

@Diane - I was bitten by the Travel Bug early in life. I was 15 when I went to Japan for the first time. It's become a bit of an obsession for me. Having a kid, however, has tempered that obsession considerably :)

Ruth Donnelly said...

I'm horrible at identifying things, so I'm not even going to try. But I agree with you about travel being inspiring. There's something about being in an unfamiliar place that makes you look at things with fresh eyes and make unexpected connections, and that's a good thing for creativity!

spiderboy said...

I've been to Tulum (H), and of course I know the collesum when I see it (G). B&D are on the Acropolis, right? The others look exotic. I couldn't guess. Very cool pictures though. I love to travel and just need to find some more time to do more.

David P. King said...

I find nothing ordinary. Looking at everything and soaking it in with different perspectives make the world richer for me. Great photos! :)

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