Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Children: Inspired by Carpets

Yup, you read that right. My personal preference is Oriental carpets. That’s probably because, as a child, I longed for a flying carpet almost as much as I wanted a horse. Yeah, I obsessively begged my mom to read me The Arabian Nights, the way some kids wanted to hear Cinderella. 

But the inspiration I continue to get from them is not just because I can almost taste the adventures I could go on with a flying carpet. It’s also from the tales hidden in the patterns, designs and colors of the rugs.  Look at this one with its birds and stylized flowers. Sure, a lot of these patterns have real stories and symbolic meanings, but that’s an added bonus for people who want to actually research them. I like to use my imagination.

 There’s another layer of inspiration as well. History. Where and when was the carpet originally made, and by who? What was the weaver’s life like? I enjoy daydreaming about the first person to buy the carpet, the home it was in, what happened there, and how the valuable rug ended up—maybe a century later--as threadbare rag thrown out on a porch for a dog to lie on. 

(I bought this one at a yard say for a dollar. Yeah, it was a dog’s bed at one point and it’s a mess)

Worn out carpets. Flying carpets. Patterns, designs, the symbol and story. The rug itself in its pristine or worn beauty.  There is a lot to be inspired by.

So here’s my challenge to you:  the next time you’re sitting in a hotel lobby—they have notoriously gaudy and oddly patterned rugs—spend some time considering the carpet and see if inspiration strikes you.  Who knows, maybe you’ll be motivated to write a bit of flash fiction or the best novel of your life.  

If I’ve inspired you to read more about Oriental rugs and carpets, Wikipedia actually has some good articles. Here’s one on Persian rugs

AND THE WINNER!  of a copy of The Bolyne  King is Michaele Stoughton!  Please leave your email in the comment here or DM it to me on Twitter.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday Children: What Inspires Me + Giveaway

Inspired by reading.

I’m not just talking about reading in the genre you write, but about being inspired by voracious reading outside your genre.  Nonfiction. Fiction. Poetry. Books. Magazines. Short stories. 

What inspired me this week was reading an article on the Columbian drug trade and a very specific drug mostly used in that country.  I unearthed all kinds of subtle new details, character ideas and twists, which I’m going to incorporate when I revise my WIP. 

Now, in the spirit of finding inspiration by reading in a wide spectrum and because I’m new to Thursdays Children and would love more blog followers, I’m going to give away a copy of a wonderful new book.

It's not just for any book.  This giveaway is for a copy of  the soon to be released alternate history by Laura Andersen: The Boleyn King

If you haven’t heard of it yet, you will. It’s on a small herd of most anticipated lists.   And, I suspect that’s not just because of Andersen’s amazing writing, but also because the novel’s premise is truly inspired: What if Anne Boleyn had actually given Henry VIII a son who grew up to be king?

So here’s how to enter. 

For 1 chance to win—be a follower of this blog.
For 2nd chance—follow me on Twitter and RT this post  Here's a link
For 3rd chance—follow me on Facebook and post a link to this post Here's a link

Then leave your name, where you follow me, and your email in the comments below before noon (eastern standard time) next Thursday—March 21st. I'll announce the winner later that day. 

If you already follow me, then just tell me that in the comments.

The winner will be set a copy upon release of the novel.

This is one fantastic novel, guys.  Yup, I had the privilege of reading a very early draft of it and can’t wait to hold the sparkly published version in my hands. 

Sorry, guys, if the linky is messed up. I'm still getting a hang of this blog hopping thing.

Here's the code for the Linky to put on your own post.