Where does your inspiration come from?

Where does your inspiration come from?

Where does your inspiration come from?

I write stories inspired by my life. In the past they’ve been short stories, but in the last couple of years I have moved on to writing book length memoirs. I am currently working on Two Poofs and a Poodle, Three Mums in Six Years and Nothing is Forever. They are all books about parts of my life.

I enjoy writing memoir, but have always considered fiction writing beyond me. That was until two days ago. Facebook changed all that.

The maiden auntsScrolling down my Facebook page, I stopped at a beautiful photo of two elderly women, laughing, enjoying life and obviously a couple. The text with this photo encouraged people to sign a petition supporting marriage equality in Australia. I signed the petition and got on with the rest of my day, but the image of these women stayed with me.

Out walking, I looked deeply into my memory of this photo, imagining the life these women may have led. Imagining is a messy process. Images and ideas compete for attention. Kath, a friend of mine had told me stories about her three maiden aunts. Growing up I’d seen women living together, sharing companionship. In Colombo, at the Galle Face Hotel, I’d observed an elderly female couple enjoying high tea, and they were each other’s world. For four years, in my twenties, I’d lived in Western Queensland, on a sheep and cattle property. St George was my nearest town, and it was a 45 minute drive away. A friend’s research on gay youth suicide in rural towns surfaced. Sculptures and paintings by Australian artists flashed through my head. steve and BayuAnd then there was my own sexual orientation.

Half way through the walk the knot of ideas started to sort themselves out and get into orderly lines. There was a book in the midst of it all. ‘The Maiden Aunts’ will be its title.

This new book is screaming for attention, but others are in the queue to be finished first. The Maiden Aunts won’t be ignored so I’ve made a pledge to give them an hour each day from 6pm to 7pm; no more and no less. Let’s see how this works.

I had no intention or desire to write fiction, but inspiration struck and my life as a writer is changing. It is meant to be.

So now I am back to my original question – Where does your inspiration come from?

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