Saturday, February 23, 2008

Weekend Wind-Down:: Chaos and Inspiration


This weekend at The Pink Heart Society author Linda Cardillo talks to us about Chaos and Inspiration... the usual life of a published author...


It’s been one of those months. A Valentine book to promote (THE VALENTINE GIFT, from Harlequin SuperRomance) and two back-to-back deadlines—one for my next Harlequin novel, as yet unnamed, due out at the end of 2008, and the other a proposal for a Harlequin special feature novella for Mother’s Day 2009. On top of the writing, my husband wound up in the Emergency Room with an excruciating pain and my youngest has been quarantined in the infirmary at his school with strep throat and a strain of influenza that this year’s flu vaccine doesn’t protect against. As the medical director told me this morning, if he lets my son out of the infirmary the school could be facing a flu epidemic within a few days. What’s a mother to do? Offer sympathy over the phone and promise to bring him some of his favorite foods tomorrow after the snow storm abates...

I’ve been speaking at libraries and local bookstores over the last month, and one of the questions that comes up time and again is where I get my ideas and inspiration. Sometimes it’s as simple as an evocative photograph in the newspaper or a conversation overheard. I’m an incorrigible eavesdropper, scribbling down fragments in the small notebook I always carry with me. At other times, my inspiration is more substantial.

For my first novel, DANCING ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS, the story was triggered by the gift I received of my grandparents’ love letters, written when they were young immigrants in turn-of-the century New York. And for my novella in THE VALENTINE GIFT, entitled “The Hand That Gives the Rose,” it was my own experience as an expatriate living in West Germany that became the foundation upon which the “Rose” flourished. I met a woman at a playground during my first lonely week in the country, a mother like me with young children. As women tend to do, we struck up a conversation as our children played, and before I knew it, I had a friend who was guiding me through the intricacies of daily life. It turned out that she was a vintner, managing a winery that had been in her family for generations, and she introduced me to the life cycle of the vineyard. When I describe the harvest in “The Hand That Gives the Rose,” I am pulling from memory and journal the cramped, sticky fingers, the fog and chill of the morning, the taste of an outstanding Riesling vintage.

So to win a signed copy of THE VALENTINE GIFT I throw the question out to you: Who or what inspires you?
To find out more about Linda and her books you can visit her Website
Thanks Linda!

12 comments:

  1. There are so many things to inspire if you look around. I think nature is inspiring with spring coming soon and everything will be coming alive. Just going outside and walking around on a sunny warm day can be inspiring.

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  2. Maureen,

    I agree with you, our environment can trigger ideas. After the snowstorm yesterday, I'm surrounded by a winter wonderland, and I know those images will find their way into something that I write.

    Early last fall I moved my writing desk to my back porch so that I could look out at the changing foliage.

    I'm looking forward to digging in my garden, as soon as the snow melts!

    Linda

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  3. When my sons accomplish and achieve their goals I am inspired from their success.

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  4. My inspirations come from everywhere - but for the story I've just written a first draft for, it came from who my grandpa used to be when he was young. He was such a great and complex man and know one would ever have guessed his favourite hobby but he was a star at it. I wanted a hero with this passion and the story sort of flowed from here....

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  5. My inspiration at this juncture is from my mother. We lost my Dad this past summer and her courage, and wonderful attitude has changed my outlook in life.

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  6. I am inspired by my sister and her determination, her work ethic and her positive and sunny way of thinking. I know that I could benefit from this greatly.

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  7. Hello All,

    I'm inspired by all of your comments! I think it's particularly telling that all of you have mentioned family members--their achievements, their courage, their determination, their passion. Our stories are such an important way of conveying the complexity of human life. Thanks for your moving answers!

    Best wishes,
    Linda

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  8. My husband inspires me. He is disabled and in a powerchair, he has diabetes, an enlarged heart, anemia and still manages to be mostly cheerful and active. He even helps his housebound mother with her shopping etc. That is something to inspire and encourage me all the time.

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  9. I'd say the world around me inspires me. There are so many fascinating stories out there. Even the bleak and desolate can become something beautiful given one's imagination.

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  10. My twelve-month old grandson inspires me! He's so excited by life! He laughs and giggles and is delighted with everything around him...he's shown me that I should try to face each moment in the same way...to let life delight me!

    Sincerely,
    Debora

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  11. My parents were an inspiration and how they survived through tough times and the way they faced death.
    Music/poetry inspires me and helps me relax.
    The beautiful sunny day is an inspiration with the birds singing and a slight breeze in the trees.

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  12. Hello All,

    I'm surfacing again from another chaotic week as writer/mother/wife. I've been rereading all your posts and am still awed by the thoughtful comments. I couldn't decide on any one, so I'd like to offer each of you a signed copy of THE VALENTINE GIFT. Please email me at linda@lindacardillo.com with your name and address and I'll send you your book. Thanks so much for posting!

    Best wishes,
    Linda

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