1.20.2010

Inspiration Hot Spots

So, the weather here in Southern California has gotten a little crazy. There is rain. There is thunder. There is even lightning. All this is disconcerting, and worse, it makes for a much suckier than usual commute, but there's more to these weather shenanigans that is making me shout "WTF?!" and "It's the end of the world?!"

I know, I know, you think I'm exaggerating. I will admit that Californians (especially Southern Californians) have a rather skewed view of what constitutes "bad weather" and what constitutes "cold" (all right, laugh it up people who live in actually cold places). I mean, just a week ago, it was a beachy 75 degrees and I was wearing flip-flops. But I'm serious this time guys!

Yesterday, parts of Long Beach were flooded, and there were tornado warnings. TORNADO warnings, people!!! Issued to Los Angeles. LOS freaking ANGELES. What is this?! Since when do I live anywhere near where there are TORNADO warnings?!

All of this brings me to the actual topic of this post, which is Inspiration. While it is true that the crazy weather is freaking me out, I know it has been at least somewhat conducive to writing. How so?

Well, Monday was the MLK Holiday, so I didn't have to go to work. It also rained buckets, which meant I spent the entire day in my fleece PJ pants and good ol' Cal sweatshirt and read. Spending 4 years in the much, much less rain-challenged Bay Area has made me love the rain a little and I even miss the biting wind and rain that fell at a slant, but I digress. The point is I was hit with nostalgia and laziness, while being effectively trapped inside my house for the day (rain makes people in SoCal forget how to drive, so don't go out into that madness if you can help it). I read a lot, caught up on a bunch of things, and then I wrote.

Confession time: My resolution to establish a better writing routine is crashing at this point, though not yet burning. Since I made that resolution post, I think I've written about three times.

Anyway, before the storm systems hit this week, I had one of my old moments of Inspiration. I'd been pondering a lot of things, and the mix of cold weather moving in and my lack of sleep hit me in the form of Plot Things clicking into place like the gears of a finely tuned clock - in the shower. Yes, that's right. The ever reliable shower. I used to get inspired all the time there, probably because of all the steam clearing my sinuses, but it hasn't happened in a long time. So it was a pleasant, wonderful surprise. Then it wasn't so fun when I had to scramble to remember everything in order to write it down later.

Back in high school, I also used to get hit by Inspiration a lot during Pre-Calculus class. My teachers would be sad to hear it wasn't the riveting math that inspired me, but rather I think my brain just needed another outlet. I paid attention when I had to, and when I didn't, I scribbled scenes in between pages of Trig and graphs. If you look at my old Pre-Cal and Calculus notebooks, they're practically half writing notebook (not to mention, makeshift doodle pad).

These were 2 of my Inspiration Hot Spots. Put me in either setting and usually my brain would come up with something interesting to write. This has nothing to do with cold weather or rain, except that the recent abundance of both in my life reminded me of where I used to be inspired.

And the truth is, there is something about the rain that sets the right mood for me sometimes. It's not an Inspiration Hot Spot, but it certainly can be an Inspiration Booster. Rainy weather is soothing and frightening and makes everything so very atmospheric.

Except when it's threatening tornadoes because that's just not cool.

Where and when do you get inspired? What inspires you?

10 comments:

Spartezda said...

Right?! on the tornado warnings. This is SoCal, universe!

Anyvay. Showers are good too, but my big spot is while driving. I used to commute to Cal Poly Pomona every day (sometimes twice a day), which was a 45 min drive. Driving is soothing to me--ideas eeeeverywhere.

I wonder if part of the key of Inspiration Hot Spots is the isolation--you don't have many distractions around, and you can't really wander off elsewhere to find them. So the mind can putter away without feeling guilty or bored.

Lisa and Laura said...

I will randomly get inspired by TV shows and movies, the more mindless the better. I think my brain has to be sort of shut off to work creatively. I swear I write best when I'm half asleep.

Gennia said...

I usually get inspired, design-wise, while in bed. It's usually when you're lying in the dark, trying to fall asleep. All these ideas decide to appear and sometimes I have to get out of bed and get on the computer.

Remember when you dreamed about having a super nice bathroom so you can write in it?

Icy Roses said...

Music! I always get inspired by music. And rainy days are divine.

But not icy rain days, which is what's happening in Central Illinois. Sucks to go to class!

I miss the sun. Southern California sounds like a dream!

Alz said...

I'd have to agree that isolation and the non-multitasking of taking a shower (as well as the relaxation of hot falling water) probably have a lot to do with giving the ol' Inpsiration a kickstart. :P

Krispy said...

Sparky- I can't do ideas while driving because I'm too busy...driving. Haha. I think you're on to something about NOT being distracted.

LiLa- Yes, I do find that I want to write when I'm most sleep-deprived.

G- I still dream of a super nice bathroom, but mostly because I like baths/showers. Writing is a plus!

Icy- Welcome back! SoCal, unfortunately is not much of a dream right now. -__-' Music can be inspiring! I just can't have it on when I write because I get distracted.

Alz- 'Sup! :)

Elana Johnson said...

Unfortunately, I get inspired when I can't write things down. Two places: driving and in the shower. Then I have to scribble in a notebook on my lap while trying not to rear-end the guy in front of me, or repeat the words/idea like a mantra until I can dry off.

Thus, the sad life of a writer. ;-)

Danyelle said...

Urk! I hope you're all right!
*sets tornadoes on fire* O:)

Usually a character leaping out from a darkened alley way and grabbing me by the throat is sufficient to motivate me. >:)
I have to have quiet while I write, and so long as I'm on speaking terms with my characters, the words flow like silk. :D

Krispy said...

Elana- Thanks for stopping by! Those are indeed 2 difficult places for inspiration to hit.

Danyelle- I'm ok, other than being stressed by driving in rain. Not near the tornado warning areas, but still! Your characters sound...threatening. Haha.

Suzette Saxton said...

Cuh-ray-zee weather you are having there! I think it's the nature of writers to be inspired by anything out of the ordinary.