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Monday, August 29, 2011

Random Musings

I'm listening to bellydancing music, surfing for Bollywood movies, and looking for African recipes. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing? Instant access to every culture in the world. Those who never look beyond their own neighborhood are really missing out.

If you haven't noticed yet, I love to cook. I love to play with my spices and experiment with new ingredients. I shop the ethnic markets sometimes although my local grocery store carries a pretty wide assortment. You don't need fancy ingredients, though. You need to know how to mix the spices. It's amazing how many cultures use cinnamon and how different the dishes taste. Want to eat Indian cuisine? Here's a great website: http://www.talimpu.com/?gclid=CPzwndHE9aoCFckaQgodk0yXLw

When's the last time you watched a movie that was not Hollywood or even American? My kids watch a lot of Japanese anime shows. Very different culture and very different storytelling. It's fun to immerse yourself in new ideas. I've got several of the Chinese movies - House of Flying Daggers and Forbidden Kingdom are the two close at hand. The stories are a bit weird because they're traditional tales sort of fixed up for American audiences. I love the costumes and the settings. They make you think differently about storytelling.

And the bellydance music? I was bored with my usual playlist. I have a lot of ethnic music on iTunes. It was Peruvian flute music a couple weeks ago, mariachi music before that, classical guitar and mandolins before that.

What does this have to do with writing? Everything. My writing mojo has been off for months. I finally finished my last have-to writing project. Despite lots of very cool projects looking for submissions, I think I'm taking a break. I need to refill my writing inspiration well. I need to read folktales and mythology from other cultures. I need to wrap my head around some ancient Egyptian art and far East costumes and Persian spices. I need to watch history shows about ancient mariners and Micronesian primates and deep sea fish. I need to read articles about archaeological digs and speculation on ancient Mayan rituals. I need to lay in the grass and watch the night sky. I need to find my roots and my sense of wonder again.

This doesn't mean I'm going to stop writing. I have several projects still in production, including book two in my series. This just means I'm taking a vacation. We all have to do it sometime. What do you do to find inspiration?