Things That Stir the Writer in Me

(in no particular order)

  • Books. Well-written books like the one I couldn’t put down today because the language and sensibility of it were so inspiring. I’m not a huge fiction reader but “The World as We Know it” by Joseph Monninger blew me away. Phrases like “‘Everything is a story. If it didn’t happen right in front of you, it’s a story,'” and “…after Ed released his fish, our shadows joined. Both of our shadows stretched across the water, and as he moved, I moved. Our arms and wrists worked the fly rods in the same rhythm, and our fly lines turned vaporous whirls around our heads. We might have been a coin, or a single dark cutout from the afternoon sun…I understood that we had been occupying the same outline of darkness in an otherwise bright world.”
  • The way my fingers fly across the keyboard when I’m typing as if they know where to go before I know where I’m headed. And sometimes they trip and automatically add a letter where they are used to putting one, like adding a ‘g’ at the end of a word that ends in ‘in’ because they are so habituated to typing i-n-g in succession.
  • The flavors of thai basil, juicy citrus and dark chocolate (not all together).
  • The soft look on Eve’s face just before I wake her to start a new day. That exhausted relaxation that comes with adolescence when the most important work you’ll do all day is rest your body and mind in anticipation of the exponential growth to come.
  • Finding one pure moment to focus on in the day. A sort of tunnel vision that allows me to gain access to all of the depth one particular experience has to offer. Generally this comes during yoga or a walk with the dog when I least expect it.
Speaking of books, my latest book review can be found here.
8 replies
  1. Peggy Strack
    Peggy Strack says:

    I love reading about how another writer gets inspiration. I love the challenge of stringing single words together to create a powerful sentence then paragraph. Choosing the perfect words, finding a metaphor that really works, conveying an emotion precisely. It's so gratifying when it all comes together.
    I agree with you. The language in "The World as We Know It" was incredible. Right now I'm reading, "Prayers for Sale" – another literary gem.

  2. Ken Weene
    Ken Weene says:

    Like your reference to those tunnel moments of clarity. When I write the process itself becomes such a moment – not sadly from flying fingers, mine stumble and often require retracing, but from the wonderful leaps of reality that writing brings.

  3. Dee Ready
    Dee Ready says:

    Dear Kari,
    Your dedication to your craft inspires my own. I've been remiss lately in polishing a novel that I've seen through seventeen drafts. Now I'm doing the final, final polish. I suspect I'm dragging my feet because I don't want to let go of the characters or the story. Your posting today reminds me to get back to work so as to find a way to introduce these beloved characters to a wider audience.

    Your book review helped me realize just what parents have to deal with today. I so appreciated the following sentence: "Princess Recovery offers parents clear ways to help their girls grow up resilient, self-confident, and empowered to make their way in the world."

    And like you, I didn't respond to that garish cover. When I scrolled down–after reading about you–and saw it, I almost didn't read the review. I'm glad I did.


  4. chriswreckage
    chriswreckage says:

    It's funny because sometimes the books I love inspire me to write, while others (depending on style) can make me feel insecure and terrible at writing. It's good to feel inspired.

  5. Styck
    Styck says:

    This is so inspiring to me. I love to write in my spare time. "Finding one pure moment to focus on in the day." I love that!

  6. Jennifer Wolfe
    Jennifer Wolfe says:

    I love your line "That exhausted relaxation that comes with adolescence when the most important work you'll do all day is rest your body and mind in anticipation of the exponential growth to come." I still watch my children sleep, amazed at all they deal with during the day. They inspire me to do my best every day.

  7. graceonline
    graceonline says:

    I came to your blog today for salve for my bruised spirit and for distraction from a world that seems totally awry. You delivered. This is the third post I have read, and I can feel the difference in my body. I am calmer, more at peace. Thank you for reminding me of the good reasons we love to write–and to read.


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