|Magpie photo by Mundo, used under a cc license|
According to Wikipedia, the Magpie is an "opportunistic omnivore". That's how I see myself as a writer and a reader. I'm a collector of interesting facts, information, and stories. Like the Magpie, if it's 'shiny', then I want it.
When it comes to my writing, I can't point out any one influence that has informed me. I find inspiration everywhere. In poetry, songs, news stories, and novels. In landscapes and conversations. In old, abandoned places and photographs. I read something and I look for what I can take back to my 'nest.' Sometimes it's the sheer beauty of the language from a variety of sources from Shakespeare to Rumi to Patricia McKillip. Sometimes it's the character and singular voice from Tamora Pierce's Terrier books, or Mira Grant's Newsflesh series. Still others draw me to the lush and intricate world building found in Tolkien.
Travel has been a huge influence on my work. Having access to other cultures and vistas opens me up to different stories, new narratives, fresh ways of combining what I know to what I am learning. Our family's trip to central Asia several years ago continues to percolate in my imagination and I know that somewhere, it will push my work into new horizons.
That's one of the most exciting aspects of being a writer.
Ultimately, I am the sum of all that I have read and heard and experienced.
There is no way for me to look at my body of work and sort out each influence. Nor do I think that's necessary. Creativity cannot exist in a vacuum and we build on the work of those that have come before us. It is my hope that future writers may count me amongst their influences and create magic for the readers and writers who come after us.
Today’s post is my contribution to the Merry-Go-Round from Forward Motion for Writers. This month’s shared topic is “My influences” prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog.
Get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their answers to each monthly prompt.