Monday, August 23, 2010

Stirring the Muse

The other day I read Kathleen’s blog. She had  mentioned that city life inspires the writer in her, in her case it was Chicago. I completely agree with her. While nature will definitely inspire the poet in you, if you want to write a story, I think city life or life in a small town affords lot of inspiration.
While reminiscing about childhood, I recalled that two boys in our town were murdered. One was a student of our school. Even at that time, nobody knew what was the cause and I doubt anybody ever found out as some said it was  suicide, some said a murder. The boy in question was hardly the kind who would have committed suicide.
These kinds of incidents and experiences abound in small town life, where everybody seems to know everybody else and life does not change at all. Life offers very little in terms of entertainment except for social interactions. I recall one girl in our neighborhood succumbed to consumption. This girl was tall, very beautiful and just 18 years of age. Her last wish was that  she should be dressed as a bride, so her body was covered in bridal finery when her dead body was carried away by her grieving father. I was 9 years old at that time, but, I vividly recall seeing her when she was alive as she was always kept in confinement and she stayed in a small room, later I recall seeing her pale body being taken away by her grieving parents. The sad sight is clearly etched in my memory.
One can actually build a complete story trying to figure out what she must have gone through when she first came to know of her illness and what must she have felt when she knew she was going to die.
I think stories are happening all around us , all we need is an observant eye, a sensitive receptive heart and the ability to translate these impressions into words.


  1. Hey Laya - Sounds like you have some amazing stories from the small town you mentioned; perhaps life does change quite a lot beneath the surface of things. And that's where a good story does its work. I'm still getting some comments from my post about Chicago!

  2. Hello from Limkedin. Always nice to find a fellow freelancer.

    You're absolutely right, the stories are all around us, under our noses, just waiting to be noticed.

    While I am a non fiction writer more along the lines of a columnist, I take a lot of inspiration from everday life. It's amazing really how even litle things can grow into over a thousand words if you only take the time to not only notice them, but THINK about them.

  3. Hey Paul and Kathleen,
    Thanks for sharing your views. Yes, stories are right under our nose, we just need to notice them.
    Kathleen, indeed the town did offer many such incidents that piqued one's curiosity or imagination.Long after I left that place, those impressions are still fresh in mind, maybe some of those people who made an impression on my mind will find a place in my book. Yes, your post about Chicago was very interesting. I wish I could check out all those places and see the sights and hear the sounds...