Thursday, March 28, 2019

On Considering Inspiration and Creativity

 This is the remains of a blog written in April 2017. What happened? Why haven’t I written a blog since 2017?

I thought about  writing on my blog, but have been quite successful in ignoring the thought. Why I wonder? It might be the state of the world, the state of our own little  worlds. Did I know that my husband would become ill in that year, which in a way would turn our lives upside down? (Note to self: Don’t be dramatic,  DB!) Did I know that one of my very best friends would get ill about the same time as he did, and  die a year and a bit later? (Did not expect it!).  Yahoo has simply changed the design and colours of my mailbox – just so! I would naturally call her to talk about the high handed approach of technology and ask her how to change it back. She always knew those things.

And yet I’ve not been short of inspiration nor neglectful of my writing. So we must presume that  inspiration has had its effect on creativity.

So what inspired me then and kept me writing while ignoring my main contact with people - my blog?

There was a reading at Bookophilia of Derek Walcott’s poems by Raymond Mair, Velma Pollard and Ann Margaret Lim (see photo above).  Raymond I’ve known since I was 16: image of him reading  poems at the foot of the hill where his cousin, my friend, lived, Tarrant Gully in the background. He was mature to our young years and we were very impressed. Velma I have had the privilege of getting to know later in life. This was the first time I was hearing Ann Margaret Lim although I’d heard her name many times before.  I was inspired by the reverence and respect for this giant of a man by others skilled in their craft.

Then there was the investiture of Lorna Goodison as the new Jamaican Poet Laureate.  In the future if anybody ever researches me (what a thought- will anybody be reading anything that extends beyond 140 characters?) they may find a picture of a bunch of us captioned, ‘St. Hugh’s Old Girls’, with me in it. This is how people make mistakes about history. I was sitting among St. Hugh’s Old Girls (Lorna’s alma mater) but I went to St. Andrew. Inspiration taken from this:  the sound of Lorna’s voice reading her poetry, her brilliant choice of an outfit which was like a floral effect of a Joseph’s coat of many colours. One can be inspired by objects, colours, sensations.

Then there was Talking Trees Literary Fiesta on May 27. Amongst the authors,  brilliant young writer Roland Watson-Grant,   and featuring  Lorna Goodison, Olive Senior and Ann Margaret Lim.  I heard again the Lorna Goodison poem,  A Forgiveness  but this time it fell on fallow ground and I  took it to heart. And perhaps that is why one morning in 2019, I could, to my total surprise, discover that I had forgiven the main characters on my journey, just like that. I had been praying about it, but  my mother's family is not a forgiving one. Malice is their middle name and I am descended from them.

I was fascinated by Ann Margaret Lim’s reference to her Chinese grandparent(s). We are indeed  an island of Out of Many, One People, in spite of some wanting to change our motto.  I would say to those who want to change the motto: Never judge others. You do not know what is in their hearts, what they hold dear. Do not attempt to erase other people’s ancestors. They are not yours to erase. For myself: All the people who went up into the making of me, I value; I celebrate the me that has survived throughout history.

Then in the late evening Olive Senior  made me feel quite wonderful as she told me that she really liked my children’s book Abigail’s Glorious Hair. So I came away celebrating others  and feeling very creative.

And though I did not go home and write a story in a weekend (first draft), as I did last time I was at Talking Trees, I have been writing.

·         Finished a YA novel I’ve been writing for about 2 years and put it on Amazon. My editor said she could barely put it down.

·         Submitted two adult/YA short stories to competitions. No, I did not win anything, but I enjoyed writing them. One is a romance in an altered state.

·         Started another YA novel. Love it! Have no idea where it is going or why. Waiting for the characters to tell me as I would like very much to read it.

·         Writing two YA short stories: one about divorce, and the other about identity in a dystopian setting (see the effect of inspiration above) I can finish both now, but don’t know what to do with them once I've done that.

·         Finished two short stories for 12 and under; sold one, it was a commission – no big money at all. The other, I think that project has fallen through, victim to the violence we strew. Not a word from the people. Oh well!  Do we know books can be big healers?

Inspiring creativity!


  1. Thank you for your contribution towards my early childhood education Mrs. Browne. I can vividly remember the enjoyment of readying my Caribbean reader book while attending Primary school here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. You are truly an inspiration to many. I would also like to express my sympathy for the loss of your friend and I hope your Husband gets the best of care. I look forward to read more posts on your blog. Have a Wonderful day Mrs. Browne.

  2. Thank you very much for your kind words. I have a new post out today which you might find interesting. I'll be writing other posts about the Burt books. You should try to get hold of them if you can. You'll enjoy them.