What inspires each of us? There are any number of things that inspire me--art, movies, books, nature, people, a sound or scent that evokes an emotion or a time past . . . the list is long and varied, and individual to me. If I posted my list, it might have some items in common with other people's lists. However, since each of us is unique, our inspirations are likely just as unique.
One of the first things to inspire me in my writing was a print I saw in 1981 in the Higgins Armory (www.higgins.org), a museum of arms and armor in Worcester, MA. It was a black and white print of a medieval scene that completely captured my attention. I didn't know who the artist was, or anything about it, but I loved that print--so much so that a photographer friend took a photo of it and framed it for me. I put up that print everywhere I've lived since, and have looked to it for inspiration more times than I can say.
Eventually I learned that the print was actually in color; it's "The Accolade" by Edmund Blair Leighton (ca. 1901). Every so often I'd run across the full-color version, nicely framed (and usually a bit beyond my means). Oh, how I wanted it--but my "office" was my bedroom, with sloped walls completely unsuited to hanging art. I bought a blank greeting card of the print and tacked it over my desk. It was better than nothing, and I was glad to have it to jog my creativity when the going got rough.
Fast forward to 2002: We moved, and I got an office--with four straight walls! I happened upon a poster of "The Accolade" soon after the move--it hangs in pride of place over the desks in the office, the first thing you notice when you walk into the room. I love it!
Fast forward to 2004: I learn that my medieval romance "Bride of the Tower" is about to be published in France. A French fan emails me a picture of the cover; all I can do is laugh at the synchronicity of things. "The Accolade" had to have been the inspiration for the cover of "La dame à l'épée."
I've got a copy of that cover on my office bulletin board. Every time I look at it--a variation of "The Accolade" with my name printed across it, how cool is that?--it gives me a thrill.
Sometimes there's no accounting for the synchronicity of things, is there?