The most inspirational sparks come from books I’ve read and authors I admire, some of whom I have reviewed (even with a bit of criticism from my old hair-in-a-bun English teacher perspective). I have felt the urge to write more and more probably since I read the first few Harry Potter books. A couple of boys being born got in the way…My husband is good for ideas and helps me talk out the ones under the embers in my mind.
I remember seeing the Twilight book on one of my students’ desks one morning, not having a clue to its tale. And, then there was another and another and then Eclipse and so on. I wanted to read them to keep in touch with my students, but I was intrigued by the cover and Bella. Not long after, the girls in my classes wanted to know whether I was Team Edward or Team Jacob and whether they were allowed to read the sequels for their book reports (Team Jacob and only if your parents say it’s okay). And then I was drawn to write. Not about vampires or werewolves. But about a young girl. Like me or one of my students who was sitting at that desk with the thick book waiting to be read, hoping that her English teacher would be quiet for 20 minutes and let her soak inside the other world inside its pages.
I’m in a book club with a number of other women who are in all stages of marriage and motherhood, some grandmotherhood. And, their perspectives and book choices have also inspired me to write. Wanting to share the reading experience and discover connections and things we never had thought about before makes me want to read AND write. I’ve just started reading the long Wally Lamb novel on my Kindle (so I can’t tell how very long it really is), I Know This Much is True. This is the second of his we’re reading; the first was a nonfiction collection of stories compiled by women imprisoned, Couldn’t Keep It to Myself. His preface to these stories inspired me: his study of people in his life, students he had taught. These springboards kicked off a lot of thinking for me. So my book club and Wally Lamb have inspired me, too.
This is just the beginning for me, a challenging road. I can’t see its end stopping at the horizon, and that’s both exciting and daunting.