For me, my inspiration is one very large place – the ocean. Mostly the
Why do I say obviously? Because I grew up in Vancouver right on the Pacific Ocean and when, for many years, I lived either in Kelowna on Lake Okanagan or in Toronto on Lake Ontario, I always felt – though I didn’t realize it until years later – that something was missing. I figured it out after four or five years in
So I write about the ocean. Not always in an obvious way, but when I think about it, I see that it’s always there. I suspect it’s the reason I craft sentences the way I do, so that they move like one of the many rhythms of the ocean. I’m always conscious of the way sentences move – whether I’m writing or reading them – it’s probably the most important thing to me. I read them out loud and if they don’t work, I’ll fix them.
The nice thing about the ocean being the inspiration for both my stories and my sentences is that it provides me innumerable choices – the ocean can be anything. It can be any color, any mood, any emotion, any flavour. And, although I don’t consciously consider the ocean when writing a sentence, when I look back on them, I know what’s wrong – and invariably, it’s the rhythm.
I suspect musicians who grew up on the ocean have the same feeling when they’re writing – they’re listening to the notes, but they’re equally conscious of the rhythm.
After writing for almost twenty-five years, I’ve finally figured something out. It feels both good and a bit scary.