“For inspiration, I love to go to old, junky antique shops—which there are a lot of here in the South, thankfully—and hunt for a box of old postcards and photos. The messages that people wrote to each other in that fancy handwriting no one has anymore are often so weird or sad or funny. Handmade things are also inspiring to me, so I love to find an old carving or a crappy painting and think about the person who may have made it.
“Writing is a solitary art, sure, but what comes before the writing is not: all of the discussion, observation, interaction, chance encounters, and random bits—it all requires the writer to be out in the world. It’s hard to force myself out sometimes, but doing so always gets me writing, eventually.”
—Molly Brodak, author of A Little Middle of the Night (University of Iowa Press, 2010)