22 September 2010

Where do you buy your light bulbs?

I have a writer friend (who has this totally awesome fantasy series; in the near future you will probably see his words on the big screen), who when he loses his inspiration says he is going out to 'buy some light bulbs'. See, he's an illustrator as well as an author, so he's big on visual cues. That 'light bulb' moment that all authors search for, like in cartoons when a character gets a bright idea.

For me, light bulbs come from all over. I am asked all the time, 'where do you get your ideas'. Literally everywhere, is my answer. Last weekend, for example, I was on my annual family trip to Wildwood, NJ. The ocean and beach is rejuvenating for the muse. I haven't written much lately, because I'm swamped with freelance work, grad school work, Boy's football season, editing the upcoming Library of Athena book (yay!). So my current WIP is on hold, but that's maybe not such a bad thing, since I hate to rush and I'm thinking I needed a recharge anyway.

So, here we are, down the shore (as we say here in Jersey), walking the boardwalk. I see a crowd, off to one side, across from Douglas' Fudge (yum, btw!). The three of us, Boy, Husband, and Me, go and see what is happening. There's a guy there, setting up some kind of art - he's got canvases laid out on the deck, pretty pictures. He's setting up a bunch of spray paint cans and dropcloths.

Did I mention he's wearing a mask and giant Mad Hatter's hat?

His assistant is also setting up a sound system, for reasons unknown. Anyway, after watching all this, the crowd is suitably curious and rolling with anticipation. Finally the guy in the big hat kneels down and pulls out a fresh canvas. The assistant starts the music - a thumping techno with a huge bass line.

The man in the hat starts to paint. He grabs can after can of spray paint, dabbing, dripping, using scrapers as edges - and ALL to the beat of the music. He paints TO THE BEAT, spraying and swiping, throwing paper towels and empty cans into a nearby container. In about five minutes, he picked up the canvas and showed us a work of art. Not spray paint graffiti, but a piece of art I'd hang on my wall, a black and white mountain scene with pine trees. It was amazing - a complete performance. It was magic.

I found some light bulbs. Don't be surprised if you see a guy with a big hat and magic paint in a future story someday.

So where do you buy your light bulbs?
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