“It helps me to remember that inspiration needs courting; it won’t come if I wait passively.
In this online exclusive we ask authors to share books, art, music, writing prompts, films—anything and everything—that has inspired them in their writing. We see this as a place for writers to turn to for ideas that will help feed their creative process.
“There is phenomenal beauty in the language developed for a particular field—whether it’s architecture, dentistry, tree pruning, or accounting.
“I’m thoroughly inspired, moved, agitated, elevated by music (mostly hip-hop).
“Notes—on Post-its, index cards, scraps of paper—have saved me as a writer.
“Make a tiny book! At least once a year I write something quickly, in one day—a list poem or found-text piece—arrange it in sections, print, cut, stack the pages, staple, and make a handful of copies.
“I am inspired to write because for many, many years, while living in solitary confinement, writing was my only means of communication.
“I’m an American. My husband is from Ireland. We adopted our daughter from Vietnam. We live in Shanghai, China.
“Have lucky things. It doesn't matter what they are. I bought a green cardigan sweater for a quarter at a thrift store in Bennington, Vermont, and wore it nearly every day through the writing of my first three novels,
“I try—and I fail all the time as I am very idea oriented—to leave my desk and take a walk or a drive and just look at the world more closely,
“I’ve been inspired by a whole host of music and writing, as is evident especially in my short stories.