Aimee Nezhukumatathil Recommends...

“I love turning to field guides, old issues of National Geographic, or biology textbooks to get a jump start when the writing comes slow. Just last week, I read how the hagfish can produce a whole bucket’s worth of slime in minutes if it gets agitated. Of all the magical plants and animals in the sea, the hagfish is the most unpopular, the most disgusting—the one that makes children burst into tears. And if that isn’t enough, it is the only fish without vertebrae, so it can literally tie itself into a knot to bulge out and pop the small mouths of fish that dare try to eat it. Don’t you admire the clever slip and wriggle? Imagine that as you sit down. Now write.”
Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Lucky Fish (Tupelo Press, 2011)



Very nice to see at least one writer mentioning wildlife and nature as sources of inspiration. Books, music, cities and towns... they are all, of course, sources of inspiration, but far more often it's the complex tangle of life and death and monotony and adventure that exists at every moment in wilder places in which I find myself feeling the first sparks of creation. For me, everything I need can be found in nature... if I can't find what I'm looking for in wild places or the eyes of wild creatures, it probably doesn't exist. --TmC