As a creative writer, I search out inspiration everywhere. I habitually gather up a handful of my inspirations to share, in hopes that they might spark creativity in you as well!
Image by @kobrastreetart
Huffington Post’s “Weird News” Section
The categories of the Huffington Post’s “Weird News” Section are as follows: Dumb Crime, Sex, UFOs, Conspiracy Theories, World Records, Anatomical Wonders, Zombie Apocalypse, and NSFW. Occasionally I run into something explicit that I’m not interested in (sex sells, right?), but I am always amazed (and tickled) by the oddity of humans.
Read: “Street Artist’s Epic Ode to the Olympics Might Break World Record for Largest Mural” OR “This Pastor Has Us Convinced: Pokemon are Actually Cyber-Demons”
“Reply All” Podcast
I am not an Internet junkie – which is why it surprised me that I loved “Reply All” so much, since all they do is tell stories about the Internet. Thing is, they simply know how to tell a good story – and the stories are strange ones about odd people and weird circumstances, which ignites all of my fascination about the bizarre people and events that exist among us, mingling with our everyday lives.
They also do a series, intermixed with stories, called “Yes, Yes, No,” where their less Internet-saavy boss asks them questions about inexplicable tweets that appear in his feed. Which is so incredibly humanizing and hilarious. (As I said, I am not hip to the ways of the Interwebs. Actually, I fear that my technological prowess is on par with your grandma’s).
Listen to: Episode #56 “Zardulu” OR Episode #1 “An App Sends a Stranger to Say I Love You” (this is the one that hooked me – in other words, I was hooked immediately.)
Creative Nonfiction Magazine
Creative Nonfiction is my favorite literary magazine – the editors always pick compelling stories with clear, interesting writing. For me as a writer of nonfiction, I’m always particularly interested in their “Pushing the Boundaries” section, where authors often experiment with the form of telling a story to see how that impacts the story itself.
Read: The Math of Marriage by Elane Johnson.
Pray As You Go podcast
The Jesuit podcast “Pray as You Go” has changed the way I pray. Each day, you can listen to a prayer which combines music, Scripture (read twice aloud), contemplation, and liturgy in a 10-15 minute segment that you can listen to anywhere, whenever you have a free pocket of time. It’s the best! St. Ignatius of Loyola’s spiritual exercises are the inspiration for the podcast, and St. Ignatius viewed God as actively at work in the world and in our lives. (A very sacramental viewpoint!) What I most enjoy about this way of praying is that it guides you in engaging with the Bible using your emotions and imagination – they often invite you to see yourself in the story, as one of the characters involved. This encourages a new intimacy with the texts (which can often feel tired to me, if I’m honest).
Harper’s Magazine’s Weekly Review
Ever wonder what notable things happened this week? Harper’s magazine publishes these beautifully written, funny, concise summaries of what happened in the world each week. They usually mix both Important things (election news, natural disasters, political uprisings and war reports) alongside weird human things (dogs getting elected mayor, for example).
Read: The September 7, 2016 Weekly Review