Where does inspiration come from?
The quick and purest answer is God — the Master and Creator of the whole world, the universe for that matter. We know from the very beginning of the Bible that God created a wonderful place for His beloved creation to live within. He thought of everything and as John Hammond in the movie Jurassic Park said of his genetically engineered animal park, “I spared no expenses.” Neither did God.
He created man in His own image, and gave us control over all creatures on land, in the sea, or in the sky. He handcrafted a world with soaring mountains, seemingly bottomless sea trenches, puffy white clouds, rolling liquid rock (lava), animals that run, birds that fly, fish that swim, water as ice, fog, or rain. He gave us emotions so we could feel. God crafted a beating heart that would work within our body to provide life blood to our systems, each of which was also handcrafted — from kidneys that clean, a stomach to digest, a tongue to taste, ears to hear, and eyes to see, to a brain to take it all in and make it all work together.
All the above to say, we are His creation, His greatest creation, and He made us in His image. By doing so He made us gifted to be creative like He was. Not only did He make us creative, but He surrounded us with things to inspire our creativity.
What inspiration do you draw from?
I’ve been blessed to live in Colorado where mountains abound and our weather varies hourly. In the winter we get snow in the morning and have it melt by the afternoon with wonderful warm sunshine. We have sunny mornings, and rainstorms passing over in the afternoon to cool us off in the summer. The mountains are just a fifteen minute drive away, and I can be lost in pine forests and soaring peaks after pulling off the asphalt and walking a short ways into the wilderness. Animals abound, and while I hope to see a bear someday (at a distance of course), I’ve seen elk, antelopes, fox, eagles, owls, mountain goats, deer, and a lot of other wildlife. God surrounds us with beauty, and it’s easy to draw inspiration from something so majestically created. Some might say, “Well that’s Colorado! I live in ___(Fill in the blank)___.”
Well, I grew up in Illinois, where my writing all started. Illinois — flat cornfields, muggy summers, frigid winters — but God laid His beautiful handiwork there as well. There are nothing like the spring rains that drizzle for hours against your window and the ominous thunder and lightning that accompany each storm. The summer, while humid, brought along the warmth to swim in wooded lakes and to roast marshmallows over campfires at night. The autumn harvest and the orange, red, and yellow leaves that cloaked the trees made fall my favorite time of year. Seeing the bright orange pumpkins lying in waiting amongst the black earthy fields or running through huge corn mazes with friends were all parts of the season. And although the winters were cold, cold, oh so cold, those first snows were wonderful and glistening as we walked at night with large fluffy snowflakes flittering down.
Those are some of the scenes and memories that float through my mind as I write, but inspiration comes from more than just the nature around us. God has gifted others with a talent I do not possess. Music! I like to listen to soundtracks while I write. Some of my favorites are from movies like, The Village, How to Train Your Dragon, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Patriot, Jurassic Park, and Last of the Mohicans. While I’m in no way musically inclined, I did win a blue ribbon for a church talent competition singing a duet of “Awesome God.” (Okay, I admit, as I recall everyone won blue ribbons.) The talent to create imagery and invoke emotion through sound is clearly a gift from God. These composers create the music that sets the mood for my writing while not distracting me with lyrics.
Often I’ll be pecking away on my keyboard and find myself flying down a path I’d not expected my characters to take, then I reflect on what tracks I’ve just listened to, and lo and behold, the tempo or theme of the scene matches the music. Sometimes it’s comedic or dark, fast paced, or a relaxing conversation. But it seems the stories always fit together well, and for that I must thank God.
So again, where do you draw your inspiration from? Ultimately you’re drawing it from God, but what medium has He used to get it to you? The whole Earth is His canvas. It’s wonderful to serve such an awesome and inspiring God. He so often is there when we don’t take the time to notice.
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Brock D. Eastman is 28 years old and lives at the base of America’s Mountain with his wife and two daughters. He has the pleasure of working for Focus on the Family and on the Adventures in Odyssey brand. He loves movie nights with his wife and their homemade popcorn, as well as playing pretend or reading with his daughters.
Brock started writing his first series, The Quest for Truth, in 2005 and 5 years later with his wife’s encouragement signed a publishing deal. Two months later he signed to write the Sages of Darkness trilogy, and a month after that to write one of the new Imagination Station series books about David and Goliath. He’s always thinking of his next story and totes a thumb-drive full of ideas.
His titles include
The Quest for Truth: (P&R Publishing/Focus on the Family) Taken (2011), Risk (2012), Unleash (2012), Tangle (2013), Hope (2013)
The Imagination Station (Adventures in Odyssey): (Tyndale/Focus on the Family) Showdown with the Shepherd (2011)
Sages of Darkness: (Destiny Image) HowlSage (2011), BlizzardSage (2012), CrimsonSage (2013)