For a while, I thought it was the bridge. Ever since I began working with Lorraine Meade at her mosaic studio, I've noticed that ideas come to me on the walk to Art Works, especially when I go over the James River on the Mayo Bridge.
Lorraine noticed it, too. She likes to give her mosaics interesting names, with word play and pop cultural references such as "Plant One on Me" for a planter or "Tangled Up in Blue." I've joined in, naming her Scrabble tile trivets "Letter Setters" and a ukelele decorated with an underwater scene "Sound Waves." We both began to realize that these names came to me on the bridge, and I realized that many of my blog topics also hit me during the bridge crossing.
But then she asked where I go for inspiration when I'm on North Caicos, far from the Mayo Bridge. I replied without hesitation: the beach.
So what do the bridge and the beach have in common? Water.
Further thinking refined the idea: water in motion. You see, lakes and ponds do nothing for me, but taking a shower can get my mind moving when I'm stuck. My short story "Chickens," which The Ink-Filled Page published, came together for me as I walked past the water-over-rocks fountain at Seventh and Main streets.
And come to think of it, I used to "find" leads for newspaper features and columns by visiting the ladies' room. You know, with the water swirling in the toilet and the spigot flowing.
Moving water, it appears, is my muse.
I think I was always aware of this on a subconscious level, but it's good to bring it forward. Expect to see me at the beach or along the James more often, and don't expect me to be happy when I'm landlocked.
But enough about me. I know a lot of creative people, and not just artists and writers. What feeds your creativity? Share, please.