Tag Archives: Creative writing

Musical Inspiration for the Writer

Does music inspire you to write?

For instance, if you were listening to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture, the part where it is at the peak of the crescendo and the canons are exploding… do you see anything?

Is there a character running from the guns, blood-stained face with bayonet in hand?  Is the sky dark and brooding, then flares and explodes?  Do you hear the cries of the wounded soldiers?

I was reading one of my favorite blogs today: Nail Your Novel, and the focus was on a Russian writer that uses music to inspire his writing.  Here is a bit of what Grigory Ryzhakov said:

“Music was also very important to me when I first started writing fiction seven years ago. My so far unpublished and untitled Russian-language sci-fi novel contains several episodes of gripping action. I listened to the Inception film soundtrack by Hans Zimmer to get myself in the mood for writing them. Thumping drums and basses associated in my mind with escalating threat of peril, I could feel the adrenaline rush as if I was at my character’s side. This music affected the way I wrote those action scenes: with shorter sentences, rhyming syllables, like gunshots. No room for reflection.”

He goes on to say that he writes in silence.  He just listens to specific types of music before he writes to get himself in the mood.  I thought this was genius.  I have never tried it.  I have three pieces I am currently working on – all kid-lit, so what to put me in the mood?  Hmm.. iTunes here I come!

Do you use music to inspire your writing mood?  Do you listen while you write or just before?  Can the music have words?  Curious to know what you think – leave a comment below!


As to Storied Impressions’ NEST theme this month of March – not many participated – in fact just AR Neal of One Starving Activist and myself – thanks AR!

As for myself, I have been busy on writing projects that I am trying to get published – I know, no excuse!  I’ll definitely get some good stories up for April – the theme:  Corners

The angle of the sun right now is great for capturing all sorts of corners.

I hope you’ll join me!  Send your photos and stories and I’ll post them.


Filed under March

The Food Fight

Photo Credit: fineartamerica.com

This story is part of the Food Fight Write Routine  combined with Storied Impressions’ March Theme: NESTS

Story Starter
by Gretchen Fogelstrom

There were four of them.  Two were strong and loud; Sarah and Sally.  They reached higher, made more fuss, got more attention.  They seemed to take up more nest space too.

Two were scrawny and more reserved; Ralph and Rusty.  They let the girls bask in the attention of their parents.  They sat back and took what was left.  But it wasn’t enough.  They were always hungry and the girls stepped all over them.

Then one spring morning after dropping a large worm into each of the girls’ mouths, Father pulled out another one, snipped it in half and dropped the pieces into each of the boys beaks.  They swallowed.  They coughed. They felt alive.  Energy flowed and they stretched their wings.  It felt good.  They wanted more.

That evening as Father was flying over the river looking for food, he spotted a fisherman.  He was lying on the bank, boots floating in the water.  Seems odd for a fisherman to be lying down, thought Father.  So he circled round to get a better look.  As he swooped in he saw that the man’s hat was over his face and his belly was rising and falling in a rhythmic way.

Father landed and hopped over.  Curious about this massive up and down, Father jumped up on to the man’s belly and rode the rise and fall.  It was thrilling.  As the belly rose, Father would get a better view of all the equipment, bags and poles the man had scattered about him.  There was so much.  At the fall of the belly, he could nearly see straight up the man’s nose and witnessed tiny little hairs quivering as he exhaled.

At the next rise of the belly, looking once again at all the scattered stuff, he spied a bucket.  Hmmm, that could be interesting.  He hopped over and peered inside.

His eyes widened and he jumped back.  It couldn’t be.  He shook his head and flapped his wings and took a deep breath.  He jumped up to the rim and peered down.  It was half full.  Everything was moving.  Little slimy, wriggling worms.

Goldmine!  I have to get this home!

The bucket had a handle and he lifted it up with his beak.  Not too heavy so far.  He clutched the handle with his claws and he could get the bucket up a few feet.  But this wasn’t going to work.  Then he had an idea.  Grab the jacket lying next to the guy, cover the bucket, fly home as fast as possible, grab Mother and get back here.  Done.

He swooped in, told Mother of the amazing bounty and off they flew like lightning.  The girls chirped their disappointment and the boys, feeling confidence due to their somewhat full bellies, shushed them.

Together Mother and Father were able to lift the bucket and within an hour, after a few rest stops, they slung the handle over their home branch and exhaled.

The smell of those wiggly worms was too much.  Sally started an all-out tantrum, screaming at the top of her lungs for the food.  Then Sarah chimed in.  The noise was obnoxious.  The boys, sniffing the air and feeling a bit more self-assured, reached there small necks as high into the air as they could stretch and let out a bawl of desire their parents had never heard.

The girls stopped their screaming and gawked.  Mother and Father stared and then smiled.  Their boys were energized.

With a great show of abundance, Father picked up a claw full of worms and flung them into the nest.  The girls and boys went crazy.  Flapping wings, hopping around, diving beak-first into the squirming.  It was a mess of fun.

As Ralph was diving for a wiggling tail, it slipped through his beak and landed “slap” right on Sally’s face.

Everyone stopped.  Sally peeled the worm off her face and glared with squinted eyes at Ralph.  Rusty burst into laughter and Sarah, giggling, grabbed half a worm in her claw and squeezed.


Now You Help Me Finish It!


This post is part of FOOD FIGHT, the Onomatopoeia Appreciation Week.  The idea:  I start a story and take it right up to the point where a food fight ensues.  Then stop.  The story is then continued through YOUR individual comments.  Each new comment has to add on to the story where the comment before left off.  Also you have to add in as many ‘pows’, ‘zaps’, ‘zings’ – it is Onomatopoeia Appreciation Week after all.

Join me in this fun?  Let’s make a great story together!

We only have until 3/8 – so comment today!


Filed under Contests and Such, March

Snow Birds

Snow Birds

Photo and Story

It is November; I and my family are preparing to travel to warmer climates, to new fields. Planting and harvesting is done here and it is time to move on. The children hate it, the moving, the change; they want to be like their classmates who stay in the same home all year. They want to go to school and stay in school. They tell mama and I to stay home when it is time for parent conferences because they are ashamed of our callused hands and poor language. I am a simple man who loves his children; I care not for formality but only for what is best for them. I too wish we could stay, not travel south to north and north to south, but that we could have a permanent nest like the blackbird who lives in the tree outside this home. He does not worry about his food for today but rests in the Lord for provision. I and many generations before me continue to labor for morsels, following the heat of the sun and the sprouting of the plants. My children don’t know but I have plans for them; this will be the last year we go. After this winter harvest, we will have enough to come back and call this place home.

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Filed under March

The Cornelian Cabochon

New Amazon Collection

Ring by Gisele Ganne: http://www.giseleganne.com/

Story by
Gretchen Fogelstrom

She awoke in the darkness.  Her eyes opened but the blackness was complete.  She took a breath and felt the deep chill of the air rush into her.  As panic tugged at every fiber of her body she began to move her arms into the surrounding space, hoping to feel, something.

The air seemed to grow colder as she reached out from her body.  Trying to control her trembling, she started inching herself up to a sitting position.  As she moved, her leg slipped off an edge, nothing below, just empty.  She quickly retracted and started to scoot away, but her hand slipped off another edge and she teetered prone, half on and half off of, something.  Stifling a scream she made herself freeze. Stop, take control!

Slowly, rotating to her hands and knees, she gained solid ground.  Slow down, she told herself, see with your touch, move slowly.   The flat stone she was on sloped upward toward a rough wall of sorts.  Taking a deep breath, she inched herself closer to the solid wall and exhaled.  Now think!

And then it all rushed back to her.

She felt her finger and yes, it was there;  the blood red Cornelian Cabochon, the Life-Ring of the Amazonian Under-Lord.  The gift was from an antiquities dealer she had supplied for many years.  As he grumbled about having to pay her high fees  he turned, winked and tossed her a small package.

“What’s this?” she asked suspiciously.

“Just a knock-off, thought you’d find it funny considering what you went through to get that last piece for me” he shrugged.  Then added “Don’t say I never gave you nothin’.”

As she opened the box to the exquisite ring.  He told her it was just a re-production and with a snicker, said not to worry, the legend wasn’t true anyway, so the Under-Lord wouldn’t miss it.

As she left him, she chuckled, she had saved the best piece to auction off herself.  That sleaze isn’t paying me enough for all I do for him.  Walking through the steaming streets of La Boca, she felt a movement between her fingers, slippery and slimy.  As she looked down at her hand the skull head on the ring twisted and turned its head up to hers, the eyes piercing a yellow glow.  Then the red pool of the cornelian began to swirl faster and faster and then splashed over onto the cobblestones.  Hissing and spitting the stones broke apart and she was sucked through, down, down, down.


Filed under February

The Big Day

Photo Credit: Ermisenda: http://ermisenda.tumblr.com/

Photo Credit: Ermisenda: http://ermisenda.tumblr.com/

Story by Gretchen Fogelstrom

The morning had been dark and threatening.  My mood was the same.  I felt I couldn’t rise to the occasion.  Even if the occasion was a celebration of Me.  But did I really have any choice?

My friends, thank goodness I have good friends, had been organizing a party to celebrate my 50th birthday, under the stars, with sparkling lights of all colors, a fun band, good food and drink and probably lots and lots of dancing.

I had to pull out of my funk.  I needed to feel alive, not half-way to dead.  But just as I was about to crawl  back-under the covers a knock at the door.  I grumpily got up and opened to my dearest friend, coffees in hand.   “Happy Birthday” she gently said as she noticed my scowl.

In her hand was a not only coffee, which I took greedily, but a bag with the insignia of my favorite dress shop.  As she sat down she told me that I had half an hour to shower and then she was whisking me off to a day at the spa – full treatment.  Just us girls.  Being 50 was going to start off with luxury and end with laughing on the dance floor, according to her.

I couldn’t help but smile.  Before I could rise to shower, she pulled out of her bag the beautiful red dress I had been eying for a month, but couldn’t justify the cost.  I couldn’t help but start to cry.  How could I possibly have such an amazing friend?  50 was going to be great.


Picture It & Write!   I decided to combine Storied Impressions RED theme with Picture It & Write’s photo prompt this week – hope you enjoyed!


Filed under February


Story and Photo
by Christine Funk

Mac’s favorite color went from pink to red. His favorite shirt is his red Spiderman shirt.  His favorite boots have red on them. Red is part of our new world. All colors in fact have become important because we are learning to identify them.  I never thought colors would be hard to learn, but for little ones it takes some time and repetition.  His Omi, my mother, sent us a wonderful Christmas Advent Calendar  this year with little cubbies for each day containing art, art painted by my mom sent with love to her grandson.  Red was a prominent color within all the objects and the collage seems to have a red hue to it producing an art piece that Mac loves…his favorite new art in his room.


Filed under February