Inspiration is born some where. Small seeds of it grow in different places, some growing wild and some carefully planted. DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude together with his co-hosts Katie Mills (Creepy Query Girl) Alex J. Cavanaugh and Matthew MacNish (Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment), would like us to share the origin of our inspiration. What made us want to write and how did we get started? This is a ORIGINS blogfest, and here is where my seed was planted:
Siv is the Norwegian name of a weed that grows in marshes. Isolated stalks, hardy and sometimes ornamental, they tolerate most extreme conditions growing where few other plants can. Whether they knew it at the time or not, my parents could not have picked a name that would suit me any better. Learning to adapt was never a choice but a matter of necessity, as we moved from town to town in a beaten up station wagon and a trailer full of old furniture and boxes. Our father was always busy chasing a new dream, and we would sit in the back seat surrounded by cigarette smoke as he sprouted off about how great things were going to be in this new town. My sisters, my brother and I, had heard it all many times before.
Always the new kid with a name that no one could pronounce, I sought refuge in the school library. Characters in books became my best friends. Friends that kept me company no matter what clothes I wore or where I came from. It was the summer between grade school and junior high that I discovered the power of my own written words. After seeing Elisabeth Taylor in the movie Rain Tree County I decided to send my very first fan mail. Loving a good story, told on paper or film is inspiring and for some forgotten reason she inspired me. In my very best handwriting, a carefully composed poem was folded into an envelope then sent to her agent, whose address my mother helped find. Months went by and the letter all but forgotten until one day when my mother brought me a large manila envelope addressed to me. The envelope contained an autographed picture of Elisabeth Taylor and a letter thanking me for the beautiful poem.
The picture and letter disappeared in an unpaid storage facility, together with all the other childhood mementos of mine. Once again my father had to pack us and his dreams into a beaten up station wagon, leaving most of our things behind. What I did take with me was the desire to keep on writing and it has stayed with me ever since.