Inspiration is a popular word among writers. What is it? When did it happen? What came of it? Readers like to know about a particular story's origins, especially if the tale resonated with you. As a blogger, I frequently inquire about inspiration from the authors I interview. Everyone's process is different or maybe it's the same--we never know until we ask. My post today is about the inspiration for my short story, "Wished Away," which appears in the anthology, Urban Harvest: Tales of the Paranormal in New York City.
Stories for the Urban Harvest anthology had to be set in New York City. When I saw the call for submissions I knew this was something I could do. Heck, I lived in the Bronx, one of the Big Apple's boroughs for twenty-something years (along with a stint in Long Island for three years). But where would my story take place? The most important question was then: what did I love most in the city? I thought about Central Park and other notable landmarks and favorite places, but my leading answer was the Hudson River.
I'd always admired the Hudson from afar. From the windows of cars traveling along Route 9 or the many roadways perpendicular to the river and from Metro North train cars. It wasn't until my teen years that I actually walked along the banks of this majestic river. A boyfriend of mine once lived in a house overlooking the water and loved to go back. He shared his love with me and I discovered my own. Parking by the Riverdale station and walking across the tracks to the river's edge became a favorite pastime of ours. We occasionally brought our dogs along for a trek. Even if we had plans for the day, somehow we would find our way down to the river for a quick look or to grab a quick meal.
Why the fascination? There's something about the sound of the water rushing across the rocks, the distinct smell of brine, the lovely sight of watching a dragonfly lazily dance above, the cool feel of the water on one's skin. The shriek of a seagull over head, the vision of freight train cars across the river, the sighting of a tiny tug boat behind a humongous barge, my fascination of the Hudson River increased then and hasn't abated ever since. The history is also something I am interested in and coupling my love for and the quest for knowing more about the Hudson was the basis for my inspiration of Maire's story in "Wished Away."
Event though Maire and Colton don't get to see much of the Hudson during the scene in my story since it takes place at night, they get to see enough with the moonlight. The picture above served as one of my memories I used when writing. There's something about the sun setting across the water which is hypnotizing. It is also inspirational, at least to me.
Have you read "Wished Away" yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts. If not, Urban Harvest is available on Amazon for the Kindle at the low price of $2.99. All proceeds go to City Harvest. My interview can be found on editor and writer Donna Ansari's blog here.
Oh, and in case you were wondering: the picture above was taken during one of my trips to the river with my boyfriend. He became my husband.