Linda Wood Rondeau

Preparing the Sacrifice

WHERE DO WRITERS GET THOSE MARVELOUS IDEAS?
Monday, July 24, 2023 by Linda Wood Rondeau

 

INSPIRATION

by Linda Wood Rondeau

 

Doubt, like tumbleweed,

Ensnares the vision

Resistance like friction

Ignites

Not a cleansing blaze—rather raging insecurity

Confidence flees

Flames frolic

Laughing in false victory

Heaven’s manna rains

The inferno extinguished

Inspiration leaps reborn

 

A question I’m most often asked as a writer is, “Where do you go for inspiration?”

For me? Life.

Though I began my writing career in my mid-fifties, it took many years for me to comprehend what kind of writer I wanted to be when I grew up.

I imagined myself as another Sue Monk Kidd, writing stories that reflect real life. (The Secret Life of Bees, The Mermaid Chair, and The Invention of Wings). But what should I write about? I didn’t grow up in the South, though I did live in Jacksonville, Florida for a few years. Until I moved there, I didn’t even know what an egret looked like.

Now I live in Maryland. I know parts of Washington D.C. are in Maryland. I know the capital is Annapolis. I’ve recently learned that Francis Scott Key lived in Baltimore. Actually, some of this info I already knew before I moved here six years ago. There is still much for me to learn about this state.  As for Eastern Maryland? I know there are a lot of crab houses. But how do I incorporate crabs into my next book?

“Write what you know,” the saying goes, “and what you don’t know research.” Good advice. However, how could I write with authority on topics far removed from my knowledge base? I like science fiction, but I’m not a rocket scientist. I’d probably eject a warp core right into a cloaked Romulan vessel … and then what?

I enjoy writing the unusual. My former agent said, “You write so far out of the box you’re in another room.” So, how then do I develop stories that will tickle the imagination yet still appeal to readers and that demonstrate how God can change or lives?

I examined the various facets of my life, for example:

… my career encompassed twenty-five years of human services

… my passion is to encourage the brokenhearted 

… I love the mountains

… my belief that God is greater than he who is in the world 

… my love of history

… my sense of humor

… my love for literary devices such as personification and symbolism

… my enjoyment of people-watching (aren’t all writers a tad voyeuristic?)

Taking the above into consideration, I was finally able to develop my brand, what I refer to as blended contemporary; a genre that incorporates character-driven stories using humor, romance, historical references, and often a touch of the ethereal. If not the ethereal, then there must be golf. Did I mention I’m a golfer?

By blending the present with history, the ethereal, the spiritual, the twisted soul, humor, romance, and a small-town setting, I have found ways to tell stories with a voice that is uniquely mine. mine.

For kernel ideas, I draw from my social work experience, my former life in the Adirondack Mountains, and my personal experiences as a wife, mother, church leader, and community member.

We have a wealth of resources from our lives we may not realize we have. To be our authentic self, write from the heart, the place where inspiration is birthed, the place the Holy Spirit breathes wisdom and direction into the fiber of our being. Someone very wise said, “Whatever doesn’t kill you put in a book.”

As for me? Hey, you can take the social worker out of the courthouse, but you can’t take the social worker out of the writer!

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