Inspiration

Hi Everybody,
First off, I’m sorry that I haven’t written a post in a while. A lot has happened…. A pandemic, racial unrest, an uncertain economy, and a new election. Through all of it, I’ve still been writing, kicking out a book every 3 to 4 months. My wife, Kim, lost her job after COVID hit and is now doing the marketing for my books.

Even though it’s approaching the middle of November, I kind of feel like it’s the beginning of a new year. And, I, for one, would like to do better, to become more connected to my followers, and utilize the tools that are at my disposal.

So,  I will be posting regularly now… once a month. Which makes this first post is a declaration of sorts. Please feel free to hold me accountable.-)

 

 

This month’s topic: INSPIRATION

First of all, I’d like to share a problem I have…. insomnia. I have a hard time sleeping sometimes. I’m up reading (listening, actually, to audiobooks) late into the night. And then I’m up at 2 am. My mind is reeling with ideas, stresses from the day, or… just reeling. I do look at this as a curse sometimes, but other times, it’s in these sleepless moments that I get inspired.

I recently saw a Netflix mini-series, Queen’s Gambit (based on a novel by Walter Tevis). The protagonist, Beth Harmon, lives in an orphanage after she loses her parents. During her time there, she discovers chess. At night, unable to sleep, she’d lie in bed and stare out at the ceiling, imagining over-sized chess pieces moving in various scenarios. Her passion and curiosity about the game became so much of her life that it became a part of her.

I could relate to this. Some of my books come more easily to me than others. With some (Ship Wrecked: Stranded on an Alien World and The Simpleton), I got clear messages. I’m a visual person, I see the story play out in front of me like a movie. And when the message begins to fade away, I grab my iPhone and feverishly begin to make notes.

I also get inspired when I’m immersed in water…. My jacuzzi or bathtub. I recently got a giant clawfoot bathtub, and when the blizzards start here in Colorado, my outdoor jacuzzi is retired for a couple of months. I find this practice especially helpful when I’m experiencing writer’s block.

My wife, Kim, helps with inspired ideas, as well. I love the back and forth of bouncing ideas with friends and family. They may come up with something that isn’t quite right, but that leads me down a way of thinking that can result in pure gold.

Being a visual person, it is very important for me to get out of town. I spend a lot of time at home, here in Colorado. This is especially true, since the pandemic. So, recently, we take road trips. Even after living in the state for over 10 years, there are many little out-of-the-way places we haven’t discovered. The last place we visited was Manitou Springs, Colorado, near Colorado Springs. The town’s 19th-century Victorian frame houses and businesses against the mountain setting was unexpectedly interesting.

Movies are a source of inspiration for me, as well. Sometimes it’s the photography or a certain villain who is strangely likeable or it’s a situation that arises that is completely different than anything I’ve seen. It could also be a reaction or a setting or the way a character carries himself. It takes me being engaged for it to happen. If I’m paying attention and open, I’ll find it.

I have 3 dogs, and they provide me a certain kind of inspiration, as well. Rika is 16, a Chow/German Shepherd mix, and Lilly (2) & Sammi (6), Golden Retrievers. Don’t tell the others, but Sammi is my dog. She’s super-mellow and incredibly sweet. She offers little expression on a normal basis, but when we take her to our favorite dog park, she lights up. Sammi especially loves climbing the up-and-down bridge. Her expression and energy level visibly change. It creates a shift in me, too. Sammi is the inspiration for a book I’m working on now, tentatively called Cob.

 

Inspiration can come in different ways for me, from in-your-face to subtle. My challenge is to stay open and let it happen. I feel incredibly blessed to make a living as a writer. I acknowledge the responsibility that comes with it… to not go on autopilot and crank out formulaic stories. I am grateful for my fans, and I owe it to them to pass on the best I have to offer.

Till next time… Mark Wayne McGinnis

11 replies
  1. Terry
    Terry says:

    Is the Hamilton going to evolve into a multi-book series. It’s really got me hooked and wanting more. I also have to say I enjoyed the Audible version more because I got to hear Hardy’s Boston Accent. It made him such a cool character. I missed that in Book 2 which wasn’t available in Audible.

    I hope you decide to expand the Hamilton series. I really loved that characters and the way you developed the story.

    Reply
    • Mark Wayne McGinnis
      Mark Wayne McGinnis says:

      Hi Terry! The USS Hamilton books are a 3 book series (more if there is a demand) book 2, Miasma Burn has an audiobook, it just takes a while after the ebook comes out for it to publish (sometimes 2 months…) The 3rd book in the series is ‘Broadsides’ and yes, that too will go to audiobook. Cheers – Mark

      Reply
      • Rhys
        Rhys says:

        I just wanted to drop a little message to say that I too am thoroughly enjoying the USS Hamilton series. Just started Miasma Burn having finished Ironhold Station the other day. Would love to see this series expanded!

        Hope you are keeping safe and well.

        Reply
  2. Eric Muller
    Eric Muller says:

    I just started in with Hamilton Broadsides, and I was hooked in from the Prologue on. Another great story full of action and incredible tech. Your inventiveness is truly amazing. You’ve got to be one of the best (and most prolific) sci-fi writers of these times. I wish some big studio would make a Star Wars-esque trilogy for these books and bring the stories and characters to life.
    I know it’s a pain to make it happen, but you might consider posting more renderings of ships. And maybe some characters.
    I’m having trouble visualizing “Hardy”, and Pleiaden-Wedowans (sp??)
    By the way, I’m an old guy, and have trouble sleeping too sometimes. As a last resort, half a Benadryl tablet knocks me out.
    Cheers

    Reply
  3. Bill
    Bill says:

    Hi, just letting you know that it has been more than a month since you have left us a message. Hope all is well. I really enjoy reading all your books, I think I have them all! Hope all is well and you are sleeping better.

    Reply

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