Music Monday – For the Glory & With These Hands – Civil War Musical

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-and-musicSince I skipped last week’s Music Monday, I thought I’d share with you a couple of songs that inspired “Into Paradise,” my final entry for the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge.

The first is “For the Glory. I have always LOVED this song, and I’ve often found inspiration in it. For Into Paradise, however, the part that moved me the most was the middle section, around the four minute mark, when Linda Eder begins to sing. I tried to infuse her haunting tone and peaceful lyrics into my story:

Sleep in my arms now
All your pain is passed.
Sleep, for you have travelled far
Now you are home, at last.
Go as you came here
Time to say goodbye.
Light, soft as a melody
Safe in a lullaby

The fields are green
The rivers are unclean
And all so far from here …

Rest for a while, now
All you work is done.
Rest here in my waiting arms
Now that your race is run …

Here is the entire song: 
(If you’d only like to hear the part from above, fast forward to the 4 minute mark)

The other song that helped me write Into Paradise was “With These Hands. During my story, I have a moment where my protagonist looks down at her hands and thinks about all they’ve done in her life–how they represent her life. That moment came from hearing this song: 

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

Writing Inspirations: Images

They say a picture can speak a thousand words. For writers, they do more than speak. They motivate, inspire, and most of all, help us bring our story to life. The colors. The emotions. The beauty…All of it adds up to a delectable candy store for a writer’s imagination to gorge upon.


As I work on my short ghost story, or Fallers, or whichever project I’m currently focusing on (one at a time, right? 😉 ), I always put photos of my characters in front of me. That way I can see them as I’m writing them. I can study their smile, their frown, their pain, their hopes, their dreams! It’s all right there, staring back at me. Motivating me. Pushing me. Urging me to dig deeper, understand them better.


I even use book-inspired photos as my computer’s wallpaper. That way I’m constantly reminded about my story even if I’m not sitting there working on it. They keep me in the zone–in my characters’ minds–inside their world. All the time. They’re like oil for my creative cogs, helping me power up the writing machine when it’s time to run.

Better yet, having these photos set as my wallpaper is like having a strict proctor tapping their foot in disapproval whenever I’m slacking off. It’s like the pictures are lecturing me, “Okay missy, that’s enough Project Runway on Hulu. Get back to work!” (Seriously guys, I’m so addicted to that show right now!)


Over the past couple of years, I’ve collected over 1,500 images on my “Book Inspiration” boards on Pinterest. And I’m constantly adding more. Whenever I start a new project or I’m feeling uninspired, I’ll trek over to this picture-licious site and scroll through my vast inventory. And I always find something to use to get the creative juices flowing.

(Side Note: If you’re inspired by images like me, then USE Pinterest! It’s an awesome resource. Plus, it helps keep all of your pictures organized.).


Many times I won’t even be looking for a picture to inspire me, but I’ll stumble upon one that sets off a plot firework inside my brain. And, before I know it, I have a concept for a new story or character.


So how about you? Do you like using pictures to inspire your writing? Do you pin your protagonist’s “face” right in front of you while you write so you can understand them better? What are some of your other forms of inspiration? Music is another big one for me, but that’s a post for another day 😉 .