Art, Music, and Writing

A lot of my stories are influenced by art and/or music.  My short stories, for example, are usually inspired by a painting or photograph.  I start thinking about the people or places in it and I start to wonder what if this or what if that and I get a vague idea for a story.  Then I kind of hear a sentence that sounds right, and I start writing (a lot of what comes out initially is not good at all, but a few sentences here and there sound good and seem to capture whatever it is I see in the picture).  And I go from there; working the story, building the characters, developing more of a plot, fixing, editing, until… I think it’s okay.  It’s never perfect or done…it’s usually just done enough to the point that if I do another thing to it I’m afraid I’ll butcher it and end up making it worse instead of better.

Along with art, music plays a big role in my writing.  I used to be the kind of person who needed total silence for reading or writing, but now, I can’t write unless I have music.  But it can’t be just any music.  It has to go with the story and/or characters.  It has to have the same mood, the same feel.  Usually I make playlists that go with whatever project I’m working on and it helps to motivate me and somehow bring out the story better .

"Outsiders" by Agustin V. Casasola

So, since I’m talking about music and art, I thought I’d post a story that was inspired by both (even though it’s not YA, but my short stories don’t tend to be YA).    Anyway, I went to Mexico a while back and picked up this postcard at a store right near the Mexico/New Mexico border.   Immediately, I wondered about the people in the picture.  Then one day, I was listening to a song by Mexican-American singer, Lila Downs, called Yo Ya Me Voy (loosely translated means, I am now going or I am leaving) and the picture came to mind and suddenly an idea for a very short story started to develop.

Update: Removed so I could submit to some lit mags.   I’ll let you know if it ever gets accepted anywhere. 🙂

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This entry was posted in Everyday Writing, Inspiration and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Art, Music, and Writing

  1. Susan F. says:

    What a beautiful story. I love how it was inspired by a song and a postcard image! The sensory details (the tortillas sizzling, the coyotes’ yipping, the houses tucked in for the night) enrich the piece and the intriguing conversation that unfolds between Soledad and her dead husband compels me to keep reading. I also love the detail of her whispering good luck to the unseen travelers who pass by in the opposite direction. Thanks for sharing!

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