Your Inspirations: Welcome to the Garden
Posted March 5, 2012on:
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.
On schizophrenic mothers:
Watch John Kander and Fred Ebbs perform All That Jazz—a true treat:
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.