A few months ago, I had a friend ask me what inspired me. She was referring specifically to my writing, and I had no answer for her. Her question really got me thinking, and since that day I’ve started to realize a few things. When I’m in certain places, I get a sudden urge to write a mile a minute. Stories and dialog start forming in my head, and my heart feels like it grows about 4x. My poor husband has to endure all of this and listen to me ooh and ahh and flutter my hands at every. little. thing.
Poor, poor man.
I feed him well though. At least, I try to. Let’s not talk about the homemade hamburger buns I made tonight that turned out to be brick biscuits. Let’s not talk about those.

Let’s talk about what we were talking about before.
The certain places that make me turn into an inspired spazz. Those places? Antique stores. Used book stores. Old hotels. Old buildings. Abandoned buildings. Museums. Old movies.
In short: the past.

As I climbed onto the old train to ride The Polar Express last night, I gawked at the old metals, the old railings, the old green upholstery. I told my husband in all seriousness that I wanted to be left alone with the train. He giggled like a school girl. I told him I didn’t mean it like THAT.
He didn’t care.

Really, if there hadn’t been a Singing Nazi “Chef” and an intercom and a HUGE crowd… if there had only been me and an old train and my handy dandy laptop, I would have gathered enough inspiration to father a short story. Do you think antique shop owners will judge me if I hunker down in their shops with my personal computer?
“Can we help you, miss?”
“Oh, yes… since you ask,” I’d say, “Do you know what the economy was like in the 40’s? I mean… roughly?”
They’d throw me out on my yoga pants.

I’m enamored with the past. I’m obsessed with keeping it, preserving it, enjoying it, teaching it, learning from it, making it, making it up, writing about it… Really, my heart flutters at the thought of it.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the past doesn’t just inspire my writing, it inspires nearly every creative facet of my life. My house isn’t decorated much at all. I know I should be working harder on this, but I have a hang up.
Lack of money aside, I have a hang up.
I want my home decor to remind me of the past. In my kitchen, I have a small spattering of vintage potholders. One was lovingly crocheted by Aunt Minnie who has since passed away. I attempted to imitate it and plastered everything I came up with on the wall, and I love it! Something deep inside tells me I decorate like a 97 year old woman, but something deeper inside me tells me to GO with it. Right under the pot holders on top of my cupboards I have a wooden milk crate. My grandpa (Organ Grandpa) used to run a local dairy. It was THE REAL ITEM… they delivered milk in bottles to doorsteps and everything! I keep a milk crate and a few of the bottles on display in my kitchen. Every time I look at them, it puts a bounce in my step.
My great-grandmother’s unused copper kettle hangs in my kitchen.

I’m slowly accumulating these things, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m a pushover for the past.
And as of last night -thanks be to Dad for the tickets -I finally pinpointed what inspires me. Bring on the antique malls! The history books! The journals! The faded pictures! Flood my floor and let me roll about in them like a dog!

Okay, I don’t mean that.
I mean, even if I DID I wouldn’t come out and SAY it. Not out LOUD like that…


  1. I get pretty inspired every time I look at my new potato box with red chicken wire windows. That man I married….

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