Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What fills up your artistic well?

I am delighted to be a new Hamline blogger this semester, on the faculty since January 2008. So many aspects of a residency are stimulating - workshops, lectures that look deep into the craft or creative process, discussions over meals. The theme of this residency was setting.

What makes the setting so riveting for me? Hope and joy. Laughter permeated even the most serious of presentations by students, faculty and guests. I love to laugh. I don't do enough when I am writing - alone. Music. I can't listen to any music while I am writing, but other times of the day it lifts me up. I wish that Kelly Krebs could rev me up every afternoon with a medley of show tunes on his keyboard. A walk on the trails near our new home fills me up and gives me hope when horrifying footage of Haiti makes me wonder what is the point?

What fills you up for the next session of writing? Checking in from Spokane, Claire Rudolf Murphy


  1. In all the excitement of residency I haven't been checking in on the Inkpot. Now I have a lot of catching up to do! Yes, we did have a lot of discussion over meals--many over where else we could go for them besides the campus dining hall!

    I love music while I write, especially Irish dance music! [Imagine that!]It just makes my fingers want to type like crazy. When I need something a little more mellow, I find that Enya sets a tone for writing.

    I have a great writing room in my house, but this semester I found that I did best with the door closed. It makes me feel a little guilty to shut out my family, but the sounds of TV and other activity in the house take me out of the world of my book. And the open door seems to be an open invitation for everyone to pop in with suggestions of other things I might be doing for them instead of writing.

  2. Dreams. I need a trigger to dream at all, usually some kind of food (strangely lasagna) or a movie that really sparks my imagination. Zombie movies (sick I know) or really the movies about apocalypse, a dramatic change to our society in some way. Blindness (the movie based on the book which was also amazing by Jose Saramago)kept me dreaming and thinking for weeks after...

  3. Hi Claire! So glad to see you blogging here!

    I like music when I'm writing, but preferably music without words or words I can't understand, like the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. Moving around helps me, too, whether going for a walk or just jumping around.

    One more thing helps--something I'm just starting to understand--and that is time with people, whether my family, friends or connections via email, Facebook or blogging.

    Looking forward to seeing more from you!

  4. Nice to see you on here Claire!

    One of the reasons I like doing the art for my books is that I can put my Ipod on random selection and paint for hours. I also listen to audio books that way. Music while writing, though--no way. Yet somehow I can write in cafes with background noise.

  5. No surprise here, I usually have Hawaiian music playing.
    Though sometimes I resort to soundtracks from movies (just music).
    When I need to be filled up artistically, I reach for a book or take pictures.

  6. Wow, so much music. I always forget to turn it on, though it helps me when I do. Walking gets me thinking. Just a short trip to the compost bin or even shoveling snow, and I have a million thoughts I can't wait to write down. I guess it's the fresh air. I have a wonderful gizmo that is a voice recorder. Now if I can remember that-- it's a great day and I'll have material forever.