If you are anything like me, most facets of life provide inspiration of one sort or another. True, life is not always a bowl of cherries. And it will often prompt you to act, (if only out of sheer terror at the consequences of inaction.) Yet, truth be told, there is so much “content” available to us through daily living that we’d have to be comatose to not be inspired at some level. When we look around us, life’s creative forces become apparent.
Inspiration, you say…
And, you may ask, what is a mystery writer doing writing about inspiration in the first place? Far be it from me to preach (not that anyone would listen.) I’m not talking about sermons on what we should worship, or “win one for the Gipper” locker-room speeches. I’m referring to those moments of clarity when we know above all else, what we’re doing and how we’re going to do it—that epiphany, sheer exhilaration, piercing insight, a bolt from the blue!
More than money, power or glory, it’s the simple joy of creating. It’s what I live for—how I keep going in spite of all reasons to the contrary. Creativity—for me, it’s the juice, the essence of life.
The Essence of Creation
As an artist—a writer, photographer and ex-musician—I draw inspiration from the creations of my fellow artists. The aesthetics of their creations fuel my creative fires. And I enjoy a wide array of aesthetics. From velvet darkness to brilliant light and all the spectral colors in between, beauty is found in those works that reach out and touch you where you live—sometimes with a sledgehammer, other times with the caress of an angel. The kaleidoscope of aesthetics is a work in progress, ever-changing, and the more glorious for it.
Creature of Passions
My personal preferences are largely comprised of music—that which moves me. I use musical inspiration to set the scene for writing. Whether it opens the door to a higher plane or sets the mood for a particular passage, music provides the grist for my mystery writing mill.
A Short List
From YouTube here are some of the artists, their works and the passions they inspire:
For the sheer joy of their compositions and musicianship –
- Herbie Hancock’s Butterfly from the Thrust album
- Return To Forever – No Mystery
- Jaco Pastorious’s Continuum
- Flame-Sky – Santana featuring John McLaughlin
- It’s Only Music by Gary Willis
Trust me, I could go on . . . there is no shortage of musical genius out there.
When it comes to fist-pumping, try a couple of these little ditties –
- Land of Confusion – the Genesis Classic from Disturbed
- Sly and the Family Stone – Stand!
- Uprising by Muse
- Steve Miller Band – Don’t Let Nobody Turn you Around
- Too Much Time on My Hands by Styx
Sometimes you gotta kickass!
Then there’s those moments of tenderness, of introspection . . .
- Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer
- David Crosby’s Laughing
- You Turn Me On I’m a Radio – Joni Mitchell
- Donald Fagen’s Walk Between the Raindrops
- Marcus Miller featuring Corinne Bailey Rae on Free
Some music stirs the spirit like nothing else . . .
- Nobody’s Fool – Kenny Loggins
- Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing
- Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
- Haley Reinhart – Free
- Stuck On You by Bobby Caldwell
And finally, celebration . . .
- Mornin‘ by Al Jarreau
- Hip To Be Square – Huey Lewis and the News
- George Harrison’s Here Comes the Sun from Abbey Road
- Basia’s A New Day For You
- 2 Funky by Candy Dulfer
I could throw in a little Marilyn Manson for grim little snippets of horror, but I’ll let you use your imagination.
It may seem like an unlikely collection to inspire mystery stories, but whatever works…
Excerpts from my murder mystery novels can be found at https://michaelallanscott.com/
Tell me… what inspires you?
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Michael Allan Scott and a clickable link back to this page.
Great references on the music – thanks for this!
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