A Garden of Delights

Your Inspirations: Welcome to the Garden

Posted on: March 5, 2012

Today I am ushering in what,  I hope, will be a bi-monthly feature here at the Garden of Delights: Your Inspirations where I will feature a guest writer or painter or …  Well, you’ll have to show up to see who I might have appear.

My first guest, Elaine Stock, writes fiction emphasizing Christian themes and faith-based resolutions.

What Inspires My Story Worlds by Elaine Stock

Is creativity taught, inspired, inherited, or a mixture of all three? For me, I believe it is a case of all three, plus throw in a form of escape and a method of surviving an otherwise different childhood that comes with a mentally ill parent. I want to emphasize that although I try not to dwell upon my past, and certainly do not expect or want people to take out their proverbial violins and play pity music, my childhood, like everyone else’s has certainly shaped my life and has shaped what I write. In a way for someone who is trying to publish book-length fiction—and only in hindsight can I say this now—at an early age I was provided opportunities to create stories because of my circumstances.

A Crayola Crayon 4-pack wasn’t a means to add color to drawings (although I did color) but instead became a classroom. Bright colors were girls. Darker colors were boys. But I didn’t stop there. I fixed them up as couples, and each had their own special backgrounds and futures.

A shoebox became an operating table for my poor Dawn doll when she “broke” her knee.

A bathtub a seaside vacation for dolls.

And oh, that enormous Noah Ark collection of paired animals that little pretend-boy had in the Brooklyn Museum still, to this day, inspires me to wonder what kind of lives all of God’s creatures have. And why?

See, I just wasn’t playing, creating, but trying to figure out the whys in life and the whys behind others’ life stories. To say that a story fascinates me is truly the whale of all understatements.

I’m also a 1960s child. I’d like to think that I’m naturally concerned about others’ welfare and rights, but I know the tumultuous times of the 1960s and early 1970s have shaped me and my stories. I might have been too young to march in protests or run off to join some hippie commune—actually, Divine Providence was looking out for me!—but social causes like discrimination, fighting for civil rights, freedom for all, and women’s roles, have affected me. And, I’m sure living in New York City, surrounded by many diverse cultures and religious groups, also helped to fuel my writing interests. One story I’m working passionately on is a Romeo and Juliet themed tale about what happens when a woman and man, from extreme opposite backgrounds, falls in love.

Then, there is music. I’m one of those writers that must write in silence. In silence I can slip into my story worlds. I can hear my heroine soothe her tense husband. I can feel my hero’s anger as it rings in his biting words. My stomach can buckle when my antagonist schemes a chase. Hearing any thing but my own story world pulls me right out of the place I need to create and sucks the air I need to breathe into my characters.

However, music inspires me. Give me a Kander and Ebb tune (All That Jazz) or fiddle music (can we say Eileen Ivers?) or Mozart and I can break out into dance or, like this morning after listening to my newest discovery of Jamie Grace (One Song At A Time), become inspired to write.

This is the short of what inspires me to write. I think, though, it’s more of a need, a burning desire. I really don’t know what it’s like not to write.

And I don’t want to find out.

Relevant Links:

On schizophrenic mothers:

http://elainestock.blogspot.com/2011/06/we-held-gods-handpart-i.html

http://elainestock.blogspot.com/2011/06/we-held-gods-hand-part-ii.html

Watch John Kander and Fred Ebbs perform All That Jazz—a true treat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPGTwXXrC50

Author Bio:

Elaine Stock

courtesy Elaine Stock

Elaine Stock never expected that a college major in psychology and sociology would walk her through the see-saw industries of food service and the weight-loss business; co-ownership with her husband in piano restoration; and ten years in community leadership. All great fodder for creating fiction. 

Elaine’s blog, Everyone’s Story (http://elainestock.blogspot.com), has been graced by an awesome international viewership of 11,000 to date. Everyone’s Story hosts weekly interviews and reflections from published authors, unpublished writers, and readers who share inspirational stories. She has also been the guest on several other blogs, helping to further grow her presence on-line.

A former RWA member, she has presented writing workshops. Presently involved in ACFW, she was a 2011 semi-finalist in the prestigious Genesis Contest in the contemporary fiction division. She is also active on Twitter (Twitter@ElaineStock).

Her first short story was published on Christian Fiction Online Magazine and can be read at: http://www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/HisTime.htm

She and her husband make their home in an 1851 Rutland Railroad Station they painfully but lovingly restored in upstate New York, the gateway to the Berkshires.

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17 Responses to "Your Inspirations: Welcome to the Garden"

Very nice post Elaine, well done!

Thanks for visiting Eden’s blog, Mrs. Bongle. You’ve made my day with your visit.

Eden, thanks so much for hosting me, and for having me as your very first guest… you brave woman

I’ll get going on helping to spread the word.

It’s already turning into an interesting journey. Thank you for being willing to be in the spotlight. It’s always hardest to be the first (according to my high school teachers), but you’ve entered the fray with grace and eloquence.

Elaine, always nice to learn more about a friend. I am so pleased to learn you restored an old railway station, I love preserving historic buildings, antiques, and history. My youngest daughter and I used to have several booths in antique malls.

How nice of you to visit, Caroline. Historic buildings are a passion of mine as well, and it makes having Elaine’s post here all the more delightful because I get to read of others who share that passion. And antique malls are something of an extra fondness for me, so an added thanks for bringing back some childhood memories.

Caroline, we have so much in common that I really, really wished we lived next door to each other… I’d even settle for down the road☺

Thanks for visiting Eden’s blog.

It seems some people are having trouble posting comments here. If you need help commenting, please email me at mouse(at)sff(dot)net and I’ll get your comment up as soon as possible. Thanks, and apologies for any confusion. –Eden

Super blog, Elaine! So impressed with your home as described. It’s so creative and off-the-path.

Elaine has traveled some interesting paths on her life’s journey. Her sharing what inspires her writing is an inspiration to us all. Looking forward to reading her first novel!

Blessings,

KB Schaller, Author
Journey by the Sackcloth Moon and
Gray Rainbow Journey, Winner
USA Book News National Best Books Award
Presidents Best Books Awards, YA Fiction
Florida Publishers Association

A fond hello, KB. Thanks for brightening up my day, and thanks for visiting Eden’s blog.

Elaine, I didn’t know that you had restored such an historic house. I would love to restore an historical house. Seems like so far I spend too much time restoring my modern house! And if we lived close to each other I’d ask your dh to do a little restoring on my old piano. My daughter had a modern piano to practice on because our antique piano needs a little work. But when she was here recently to visit, I told her to try out the base keys and she did. She was awed. 😉 Not even her electric keyboard can match the old Wing & Son base chords. And not only that but it was on key, and it hasn’t seen the tuner for decades. 🙂 I think it’s wonderful that you all are restoring pianos. The writing process is such an intriguing mystery, and the puzzle of putting the story together is always fascinating. Wishing you music that inspires you, and many happy readers!

Hi, Jeanmarie,

While your comment was targeted toward Elaine (and delightfully so), I wanted to bid you welcome and thank you for your visit. …as well as for the tale of your antique piano. Have a lovely day.

Jeanmarie, thanks for visiting with Eden and me. Isn’t if funny how folks like us can know each other for years but still discover new things about each other? Restoration of a place is okay when not pressured time wise or financial wise. We we first renovated our home a million or so years ago we were pressed with those pressures, plus since we were doing so much our selves to cut cost, it added a lot of stress to our marriage. We’re about to do our kitchen over again, but thankfully this time we’re having a contractor do that work… I’m so excited about getting a “grown-up kitchen.”

As for piano restorations, actually, my husband has pianos coming in from all over the country to rebuild them. One recently was restored here after being shipped from its home in Texas, your corner of the world. Wing & Son pianos are very nice instruments!

Thanks for your well wishes.

As a child of the ’60s–one who did protest and still does–I, too, like to think I would have cared even without those times. Think it’s true because now, almost as much as then, caring voices need to be heard. Your post inspires and reminds me that love is all there is.

Thank you, Elaine.
Karen

Hello, Karen. Thank you for those kind words… you are the one who has inspired me today! And if you enjoy inspirational reads, come visit my guests on my blog, Everyone’s Story. They have so much encouragement to share.

Thanks, Karen, for visiting and sharing some of your story. Of course, having read your blogs, I have to agree that you would have cared whether the 60s had happened or not. You’re one of those people whose soul is deeply connected to the world it inhabits. In another generation, I could see you marching with Elizabeth Cady Stanton or running a station on the Underground Railroad. Perhaps in another life you were one of the women who donned a man’s clothing and fought alongside your countrymen to protect a boy king… whatever the story of possibilities, I can see you having played a strong role and a morally just one.

Thank you again for visiting. Have a lovely week.

Thanks for hosting me this past week, Eden. I wish your blog–and writing–continued success.

Thank you for being my guest, Elaine. You added a new light to the blog.

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