#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare

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A Narrow, Black Water Stream, Chock Full of Mystery

Those of you who have been following The Write Stuff for very long, know that I believe in inspiration boards. The walls around my computer area are covered in cork, where I pin photos and illustrations to inspire me as I write. Actors or models who look the way I picture my characters, animals that might factor into my books, and lots and lots of scenery. Whether it’s an awe-inspiring shot taken from a mountaintop in North Carolina, where my Wake-Robin Ridge series is set, or a dramatic image of an alligator, basking on the banks  of the  St. Johns River, where my Riverbend series is set, you’ll find it within sight of my work space. Whole scenes have been written, based on ideas that come to me from photos.

If you’ve never collected images for inspiration, I highly recommend you give it a try. In the meantime, here are some of the images I surround myself with when I’m working on my Riverbend series, set here in central Florida. Enjoy! And be inspired! 🙂

03Jul2013_011-149-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20Baby Gators on a Log

03Jul2013_013-151-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20
Not So Baby Gator On a Log

03Jul2013_003-141-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20
Purple Gallinule

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Barred Owl

"Kelly Park, Apopka, Florida"

Crystal Clear Rock Springs Run

42305389(And yes, the water really can be that blue and clear!)

41Florida Panther
(Slightly smaller subspecies of the western cougar)

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Crinum Lily Reflected in a Tannic Acid Stained Stream.
(Note: This water is not dirty. It is colored dark brown to black by the same thing that colors your cup of tea brown).

wekiva-river (1)Wekiva River shallows.  Picture brings back lots of memories.
Have canoed this stretch many, many times.

middlebasin2St. Johns river at a wide curve.
It opens up into several very large lakes along its course.

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Tri-colored Heron (Back)
Little Blue Heron (Foregound)

Great Egret
Great Egret in Full Breeding Plumage

038See Ya Later, Alligator!
(That’s all for this time! Be back next week.)
(And my thanks to Doug Little for so many of these photos)

51 thoughts on “#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare

    • Thanks, Olga! Now go forth and write. It doesn’t have to be about Florida or birds and alligators. Maybe the colors on the purple gallinule would make a good traveling cloak for your next heroine. 🙂 Inspiration comes in a lot of different ways, and in unexpected places, right? 😀

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  1. I have lived in Florida for over twenty years now and you have captured the beauty like no other,
    My New York accent is still detectable but not as much as it used to be. I still visit New York but do not miss the winters and try to make my visits in the summer or fall. I have grandchildren that live there and do miss them but in a few years they will be old enough to travel on their own to visit us. Who knows, there parents might even move down when they finish school, :o) Thanks for sharing your great shots, :o)

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    • Glad you enjoy Florida so much. I’ve got you beat a little bit, though. I’ve been here the better part of 72 years now. 😯 However, unlike you, I hate the heat worse every year, and I quite enjoy “real” winters, though fall is my favorite time of year. That’s why my first series is set in the North Carolina mountains. Crisp, colorful falls, and just enough cold in the winter.

      I do, however, love the wildlife and rivers of central Florida, and get out on them every chance I get. Have hiked, canoed, and birded all over this part of the state, though I don’t do as much of that now. I’m longing for a mountain cabin to escape to in the summer, but there’s not one in sight, so far. 😦 So, I reckon I’ll bloom where I’m planted, and keep on writing about the parts of Florida I really enjoy, the St. Johns and Wekiva Rivers, and all the wildlife living nearby.

      Have a great afternoon, and I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Mary. I have SO many wonderful Florida images, it was hard to choose. And as soon as I posted, I thought of some others that everyone REALLY ought to see! 😀 Yes, when I’m writing about Riverbend, these are the pictures I surround myself with. So glad you enjoyed them.

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    • Thanks, Debby. If you look at it closely, you can see there’s at least a year’s difference in their ages. The one on the front is probably a 2-year old, and the others likely recent hatchlings. I love the picture, too. It’s one of Doug’s many gorgeous shots. Baby gators are adorable. Until they aren’t. 😯 (But I mostly like them even then!)

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  2. Wonderful photos. I use them for inspiration too while I’m working, although mine are tucked into a binder that I keep desk side (one for each book I’m working on). I think surrounding yourself with images of your settings (and even the people who populate them) immerses you more fully in the creation process. Thanks for sharing, Marcia!

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    • I swap mine out from time to time, and book to book, too, Mae. And I have literally hundreds more in digital format on my computer I can pull from, when I want something fresh. I’m not sure I could write without them. It certainly wouldn’t be as much fun! (If you’d seen my Inspiration Board while I was writing Swamp Ghosts–Gunnar Wolfe is a big, blond Viking of a man, who looks very much like Thor–you’d understand. 😀 ) Glad you enjoyed the post, today. Thanks for commenting!

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    • Hi, K! It puts me in the mood by immersing me in the place, with the characters I’m describing. If I’m stuck for a line, I just lean back and “visit” with them for a bit, and it usually comes to me. If you give it a try, I hope you’ll find it helpful. So nice of Sally to share the post, and thank you for stopping by. 🙂

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  3. What absolutely gorgeous photographs. Florida is so beautiful, but also a little terrifying! It’s no wonder you find them so inspiring. I’ve tried to do a cork board of inspirational images myself, but there wasn’t nearly enough room on there for all my wild inspirations. I just keep them mostly on hand with Tumblr on my mobile now. There’s some truly wondrous scenery here in Illinois, too, but nothing quite like the vividness of these Florida swamplands and rivers.

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    • The natural areas of Florida are amazing. Spooky and primordial, but beautiful. If you are familiar with them, and know a bit about what you’re doing, they aren’t really any scarier than most natural places, though. If you are out in nature, anywhere, there are some things that you need to leave alone. Here, it’s mostly alligators. Give them a wide berth, and the respect they merit, and you’ll usually be fine. My Rule For Swimming: I never . . . EVER . . . swim in any body of water that isn’t enclosed in turquoise concrete! It’s a good rule. I still have all my arms and legs. 😀 I like being ON the river, not IN it. 😀

      I’ve seen some beautiful wilderness areas in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc. (Several more venomous snake species than we have in central Florida, btw). But there’s nothing like a swamp to inspire a spooky tale or two. 😀 Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for stopping by!

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    • Those are on my side walls, and they ARE inspiring, to be sure. But in my little desk alcove, I try to put myself in another world, where I’m someone else, surrounded by other people and places. In other words, I have to be “in the moment,” when I’m writing. No tv, no music, no family photos directly in front of me. Those would remind me I’m not REALLY in the Blue Ridge Mountains at all, nor out in a canoe with the likes of Gunnar Wolfe. I don’t want to have real life intrude when I’m working, so the pictures of the grandkids, etc, are just a wee bit to the side, ready to greet me when I get up from the computer.

      Works for me, though for sure, we all have our own way of calling forth the Muse, right? 😀 So nice to see you here today. Thanks for taking a moment to comment!

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  4. Your photos are always so vibrant Marcia. It’s no wonder you get inspired surrounded by these photos. Seems a great method to keep our heads in the game. I still find your gators frightening, lol. 🙂

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    • Most of these photos were taken by my friend, Doug Little. He’s got a gift, PLUS, he goes out on the Naiad with his wife, Captain Jeanne, nearly every day, touring up and down the river, which gives him lots of opportunities to capture birds and wildlife. I believe in the impact of images, and nothing puts me in the mood to write more quickly. 🙂 Glad you enjoy them. And I have a very healthy respect for alligators, believe me. I think I’ve mentioned my rule about swimming: I do not EVER swim in any body of water that isn’t enclosed in turquoise concrete!!! That’s it. And it’s kept me alligator bite-free for my whole life. 😉 I like being ON the river. Not IN it. 😀

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  5. Thank you 🙂 That’s a really cool idea, to just keep adding pictures. I have such a board, focused on dance, as I am a dancer, yet never really put much thought into making it more general – maybe that’s the next step 😀

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    • I think whatever inspires you, lifts you up, and makes you feel creative would work. For me, it’s creating a snapshot of the world I’m writing about, and reminding me what my characters look like. Then I can chat with them when I work, surrounded by their corner of the world. 🙂 Hope you enjoy adding to yours! 🙂

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    • I wish I could take credit for the pics, but they aren’t mind. However, this is the type of thing I see nearly every time I go out on the St. Johns River, and I find pinning them to my inspiration board really puts me in the right frame of mind when I’m working on one of my Florida books. 🙂

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    • That’s pretty cool. Me, I just wave to ’em as we glide by in my canoe, or on the eco-tour. Or sometimes out my car window, as I drive by a retention pond, with one lazing on the bank. 🙂 I’ll leave the wrestling up to you young, strong types! 😀

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  6. These are truly breathtaking photos. I love your approach to method writing. For some reason, it never crossed my mind to intentionally place photos in my writing space in accordance with my imagined scene in-text. Thank you for the idea, and I hope you don’t mind if I steal it for future endeavors;) I happened upon this post by chance, and as it so happens I’d love for you to read one of my more recent posts on method writing through music. I am relatively new to the blog world, but you may find it interesting! Thanks again for sharing.

    https://anthillmoment.com/2016/11/22/moonlight-sonata/

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    • Glad you enjoyed the pics, Johnathon. And the whole point of sharing them is to give other writers ideas of ways to spur their creativity, so I’m happy to know you might try it. Good luck. It never fails for me! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your blog link, and I’ll definitely take a look, first chance I get. (I’m WAY behind right now, and doing very little blog reading, as a result. Deadlines! *shudder* ) Thanks for stopping by!

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