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 .
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. 🙂
Follow me on Twitter @jetchez