Writers draw inspiration from everywhere; pictures, songs, other books, a snippet of conversation, a single lyric, a poem. A friend of mind likes reading articles about scientific advances. We’ve planned to incorporate more than one idea in the future setting we’d like to write in (after we finish editing book one of the fantasy setting we’ve been writing in). New ideas are always exciting, however, and they often take precedence, even if for a minute or two until a note has been jotted down.
One of my more obscure points of inspiration is Clump Road. It’s a road crossing the turnpike in North Eastern Pennsylvania. I don’t know where it goes, or even why it’s named. The minute I saw the sign I felt a presence, though; a voice started whispering. Something happened on Clump Road. One day, when I write the story, I’ll find out what.
Landscape photography often sparks my imagination. I have a thing for mountains, particularly peaks shrouded in clouds and mist. I wonder what’s happening up there, out of view. I long to venture into the clouds and would do so with the anticipation of stepping into another world. Beyond the Veil. Sometimes I want to know what’s just off to the side, or down that dark hole (something horrifying, probably). Sometimes the scene is simply otherworldly, ethereal, and I’m instantly transported to another world.
The most recent landscape enticing me to visit is not a mountain. It’s a forest. I call it The Alien Forest. The ground is red with an oxidized mud. Or, perhaps more gruesomely, the ground up corpses of… Let’s stick with the mud. Weaving along the banks of the creek are the veins of the tree people. The feed on the mud (corpses?) and absorb the memories. Okay, we’re going corpses. I’ll kill them humanely, I promise. Touching the green roots forms a connection with the trees and a glimpse of those memories. Maybe that’s how the tree people communicate. The roots grow together or simply brush past one another as they wander through that rich, red soil.
Now I need a story that includes my weird planet with its forest of tree-like aliens.
The forest depicted in these pictures does exist in our world. It’s the Oztarreta Forest in Spain as photographed by Javier de la Torre García. I wonder what he saw through the lens of his camera?