Monday, October 26, 2009

Inspire Me

Let me introduce today's guest blogger. Meet Lily. Her book, Eden Fell, is available from Damnation Books. Welcome Lily! The floor is yours.


I always have the most difficult time giving a short enough answer for where the inspiration for a story came from. Sometimes I'll know and sometimes I don't have a clue. So I always answer with a shrug, everything. Live, death and everything between. Eden Fell is one story where I happen to know where most of it came from: Life.

Back in 1998, my work life was hectic. I was holding down two part-time graphic design jobs and although I was only twenty at the time, I was heading for a burnout. So one night, as I was getting home form work, I decided to first stop by a diner that was located around the corner from my apartment. I so did not feel like cooking that night. When I walked in, I was bleary and exhausted and not paying attention at all.

But I heard the loud gasp as soon as I walked through the door.

“Oh! Is it really you?”

I looked around, checking to see if this middle-aged woman with gray hair styled into sausage curls was talking to me and not someone else. She was talking to me. I scrambled in my mind, trying to come up with an appropriate response as fast as I could. I came up with, “What?”

She frowned, soft and disappointed. “Oh, maybe it's not you.” She looked away and waved a hand as she continued. “You look just like that girl. She was missing for awhile...”

Blink blink.

“Well,” I said carefully, “that's not me.” Backing away now...

“Are you sure?” she called out after me.

“Yeah, um, I'm sure. I'm okay.”

She smiled like a grandmother would, greeting her grandchildren with freshly baked cookies. “Okay, then,” she relented with a slow nod.

Now, I was so tired and oblivious that it wasn't until I got back to my apartment with my hot chicken dinner that I began processing the event. I thought to myself... what the hell was that?!

I still don't have an explanation. It just happened. All kinds of strangers will come right up to me and tell me the darnest things for no... apparent... reason. I take it all in stride for the most part. Though sometimes I will be looking around frantically for the nearest exit.

Later that year, my boyfriend and I were invited to a small birthday party which was taking place a block from that same apartment. I suppose he was behaving like a stereotypical, insecure male, but needless to say, I wasn't impressed with the way he was shamelessly trying to upstage everyone that night. I made up an excuse to leave early. I don't even remember what the excuse was. It was either that or crawl under the table and die of embarrassment.

On our way back to my apartment, I stayed quiet while he rambled arrogantly about what he thought all those people were all about. He went on to say they were fake and pretentious. That's when I piped up. I just had to say something. I couldn't stand it anymore.

“You know what?” I told him. “All those people might be that and more. But I felt really alone tonight and I got no help from you.”

Then it was his turn to be very, very quiet. So glad that relationship ended.

I based certain scenes and characters in Eden Fell on those two incidents. The Ski Jacket Lady and Eden's meltdown after a party. (Shh, don't tell my ex). So when people ask me where my inspiration comes from, I end up giving a short answer and say everything. Life, death and everything between. I never need to look far inspiration. It's life and it's all around us anywhere we go. And that's where my inspiration comes from.

Creatively yours,
Lily


Check out Lily's Blog at http://lilyauthor.blogspot.com/

3 comments:

Lily said...

Thank you for this opportunity, Kim :)

Carla said...

Hi, Kim/Lily. Great interview!

Lily, question on inspiration. Do find sometimes that the Muse just smacks you on the head and says, "Write this?" What I mean by this is (and I found this happened more than once to me while writing college essays) that you start out with the idea of writing one thing and something else gets written?

Lily said...

Carla... all the time ;)

Stories change, evolve, become something different. Especially when writing ficiton, where the possibilities are truly endless.