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The Writer’s Craft #44 – Inspiration Amid the Ruins

November 2, 2011
Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer dreams of being a swashbucking hermit, but until such a time she contents herself with writing stories and teaching historical swordsmanship. More information about her books and her can be found at www.apenandfire.com


One of the hazards of being a writer is that everything has a story.  As I look around at my office — your usual secretary’s space, with binders and piles of forms, second hand office furniture holding everything from CD’s to envelopes — I know that even this space, these things, can tell a story if I listen. But, fortunately or unfortunately for the world, those aren’t the stories I want to tell.  So, sometimes, when I’m bored or stuck, I wander the internet, and I look at places like LJ’s Rural Ruin, or sites like Opacity.  Try one … let’s wander.  Click through to Bannerman’s Arsenal. Soon I am walking under ornate stone arches, if I work at it, if I build it in my head, I feel the brush against my legs of grass, the occasional snag as a weed catches the fabric.  Stone and dirt crunches under my feet, my nose is filled with the mustiness of dust and mold when I enter the rooms.Not one of these places feels silent anymore, or dead.  They have stories to tell.  How did they come to be like this, abandoned and ruined?  Who walked these halls and paths before us?  I tour them for inspiration, such as this magnificent place:  The Sanatorium F Bezancon.  And though they are only photographs, I can feel the tales they have to tell, and when I need the inspiration, I have a place I can go.  Sometimes what I write ends up being nothing more than  a word-doodle, but at the end I still have the joy of writing, and sometimes when you are stuck and second guessing your main project, that is all you need.Please share a link to an image that inspires you and tell me why.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. JohnP permalink
    November 6, 2011 6:23 pm

    In all honesty, I never really considered this but it makes sense and I will happily give it a try.

    Thank you is generally inadequate, so please accept the following websites for vicarious inspiration:

    http://www.lostamerica.com

    http://www.englishrussia.com

    Oh yeah, fair warning about the englishrussia site. The gems are well mixed with, errrr, lurid, content.

    Best,

    – John

  2. November 9, 2011 10:27 am

    http://codyduncan.com/blog/2011/01/callanish-standing-stones/ This is a link to my inspiration when I’m losing it–mostly because I love Scotland and it’s where my book takes place–Celtic history and all that…I loved your post and when I clicked on Bannerman’s Arsenal I understood. What a fantastic ruin!
    Thanks for the links. I enjoyed your description of the crunch of stones, the grass snagging as you passed, the mustiness and so on…

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