Inspiration From Mappy Maps

I was recently writing with a fellow blogger about my first Spark of the Week post and image, and realized something I haven’t ever talked about here, something that can give me hours of inspiration and enjoyment: studying maps.

One semester in college I worked in the copy room of the Health Sciences library at Mizzou.  It was an awesome job because it was quiet and I could read or study and not have a lot of interruptions. One night, I had gotten all my work done and had a few hours to kill, so I retrieved one of the atlases from the main floor.

I was so happy.

I spent several dreamy hours studying regions of the middle and far east so closely, looking at the topographical markings of the different lands and imagining what it would be like to travel there. Then I studied Gujarat, India, a state my then-boyfriend was from, and looked around his home town, trying to place the landmarks he had told me about in context.

I remember buying an atlas to have here at home when I first moved in, and spent several nights just alone in the recliner – no TV, no music, nothing. Just studying the pages.

Last year, at the renaissance fair in Bristol, WI, I found a vendor selling maps he had created of different fictional worlds: Narnia, Middle Earth, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, Asgard, Atlantis, and Verona according to Romeo and Juliet, to name a few. He had drawn them on old parchment-y paper, you know, so it fit in perfectly with the imaginative (and nerdy) environment or a renaissance fair.

Inspiration Engine 17 – Poetry

This is a weekly post I do to highlight blogs or bloggers who have inspired me in some way during this week – another car on my imagination train!


1. I’m not normally a poetry kind of girl, but as I was writing this week, I felt like I wanted to.  I found, on this post from Writer’s Digest, a list of different styles of poetry, explaining thme and giving me examples.  As I was looking, I was inspired to try it a few times on different topics.  Stay tuned for future efforts. 🙂

Inspiration Engine 16 – Gettin’ Aulder!

This is a weekly post I do to highlight blogs or bloggers who have inspired me in some way during this week – another car on my imagination train!

Health and getting older has been on my mind a lot this week. (Skip this section if you don’t want TMI): I’m getting older. It’s really and truly happening; it’s not longer a cognitive eventuality. I woke up with a hot and sweaty face the other night and I couldn’t sleep – Night sweat? My period is late this month (not pregnant). I have arthritis that, no matter how much I hope and pretend otherwise, finds new ways to hurt every day. I also had an emotionally trying week last week, and am still trying to find footing in the sifting sands of truth and dysfunction.

My new favorite blog on feminism and body positivity: Talkin’ Reckless.

And then these posts on yoga and meditation: Amanda Green Yoga and

Maybe these things will help me find my footing and accept the changes. What works for you?

Inspiration Engine 15 – Art, Music and Stories

This is a weekly post I do about blogs or posts that have inspired me in some way this week!

1. This post on I, Myself, Am Strange and Unusual, was at the top of my reader for a day or so, and I was inspired by it every time I opened wordpress. In this painting, i love the wash of color and the simple drawing, but especially the theme of circles that is pulled through each panel.

2. The second is this 2009 post from The Well-Tempered Ear in which the author cites a few stories that integrate classical music. As I was leaving from a home visit today, I was struck with inspiration to write the stories I see when I listen to classical music. Since childhood, my family put favorite TV shows on audio recording because that was all we could afford, and I regularly listed to audio recordings of Rodolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Care Bears, The Wizard of Oz, and Peter and the Wolf.

Therefore, I grew up imagining stories and scenes as I listened to music.  I created a whole story around the Edward Scissorhands soundtrack and would listen to it/tell myself the story at night when I was trying to fall asleep.

What did you find that inspired you this week?


Inspiration Engine 15 – Writing

Hello friends – I’ve been sick this week. Feverish headachy hard-to-breathe nose-blowey sick. (When was the last time I slept for 15 hours? And how can one woman produce so much mucus?) I, unfortunately, have not been very active in the greater blogging community. I don’t have the usual round-up of blog posts that have inspired me some way this week.

I did, however, think about writing. How I would write, how I would get better at it and closer to that publishing ambition.  I found some information on writing contest opportunities, and in lieu of  my traditional Inspiration Engine, I’m going to share the links I found.

Continue reading “Inspiration Engine 15 – Writing”

Inspiration Engine 14 – Art Journaling & Writing

This is a weekly post I do about blogs or posts that have inspired me in some way this week!

1. I have been thinking a lot begun thinking about hosting an Art Journaling event on wordpress. It wouldn’t begin until after the Renaissance Faire ends in June, so I’m using this time to prepare for that. There is one blogger in particular who helped me when thinking about this: The Frugal blogger. She has a number of different techniques and materials, along with corresponding videos.  It helps to see someone else’s process of creating art.

Question for you readers: Would you be interested in creating some art journal pages with me?  I have begun thinking about hosting a monthly art journaling event on Creo Somnium, partly to help me achieve my 36/36 goal, and also to get inspired by the imagination of others!

Continue reading “Inspiration Engine 14 – Art Journaling & Writing”

Inspiration Engine 13 – Flash Fiction and Art

This is a weekly post I do to highlight blogs or bloggers who have inspired me in some way during this week – another car on my imagination train!

1. The first entry on this week’s Inspiration Engine is from this post from The Smallest Forest showed some postcards and organic art that they created for a friends/wordpress postcard swap, and it really got me into a place to work on my art journal.

Continue reading “Inspiration Engine 13 – Flash Fiction and Art”