Jul 28, 2017

Guest Post: Temple West Talks Inspiration

Hi guys! We have a fun little treat for you guys here on the blog today -- Temple West, author of Velvet and Cashmere, is here to talk inspiration! She's super creative when it comes to both writing and turning pieces from thrift stores into works of art, so we couldn't imagine a better topic for her to come here and talk about. Without further ado, it's time to give the (metaphorical) floor to Temple!

Temple West


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There have been many an article written about pantsing versus plotting. Since I fit neatly into neither category, I have created a third category: plontsing. Sometimes I pants, sometimes I plots. (Neither of those words needed an “s” but it sounded way more fun.)

When I was younger, I wrote whenever inspiration struck, which was virtually every day. I had this lovely thing called “free time” on my hands as well as “summer vacation” and “Christmas vacation” and “weekends.” Rent, bills, student loan payments — those were all problems for the future. I was living in blissful adolescence; the golden years where my worst conundrum was wondering how long I could go before the smell of my overflowing hamper forced me to do laundry.

Back then, inspiration was all around. I lived on a greenbelt; a strip of forest surrounded by houses, and its wild greenery offered up endless storylines. When I was even younger, I lived in the desert, where the mountains stuck up out of the cracked terrain like the rusted bones of ancient war-gods. Sunlight slanting through the windows looked like misting gold; rotting two-by-fours in the scum-covered pond like the moldering decks of long-lost ships; maggot-infested possums like the spoils of gruesome battle between feuding rodent clans.

Now I go to work. I put gas in my car, and commute. I pay for health insurance, and car insurance, and my credit card, and my Adobe Creative Suite subscription, and Dropbox subscription, and Vimeo subscription, and Hulu subscription, and Dollar Shave Club subscription, and iPhone storage, and… 

My day is eaten up so quickly now. By the time I’ve taken care of the essentials, I have so little energy left to observe the world, let alone write about it. I don’t notice the light slanting through the windows like misting gold. I drive around the maggot-infested road kill and through the desert mountains on autopilot, trying to get from Point A to Point B. I pay my bills, then worry about paying my bills again the next month (and the next, and the next). No one warns you how quickly you become tired when you grow up.

So now, I have to hunt down inspiration. I have to make the space to find it, or to let it find me. Sometimes this is as simple as snapping awake at the meter while I’m waiting to merge onto the freeway on my way to work, noticing how the green and red lights shimmer through the foggy rain. Sometimes it’s ditching my hair and make up and going to Goodwill in my sweatpants, feasting my eyes on the antique silver butter dishes and massive, gold-framed oil paintings and ornate vintage wedding dresses. Sometimes it’s driving to the cliff in Edmonds and just watching the sea; the light shifting through the clouds in sheets, piercing the water, then retreating.

And sometimes, instead of binge-watching Star Trek: Voyager, I go to bed early so I can wake up early so I can tell stories. And sometimes, in the dark and quiet of the morning, I find the right words to capture the insane beauty of the world.

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Once again, we'd just like to thank Temple West for being sweet enough to guest post on our blog! It was so great having her here and we always love working with her, so we couldn't think of a better fit for our first author to do a guest post here with us. :-) I totally agree with everything she said (especially how quickly time slips away from you when you're an adult)

What'd you think of today's post? Have any questions for us or Temple? Leave a comment down below! 


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