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September 12, 2010 by jessperriam

Inspiration’s a funny thing.  It attacks you anywhere. Actually, no it doesn’t. It kind of follows you around like a shy, ineffective stalker and you just want to turn around to them and say, “Oh just say something!”

Yep. Aaaaaanyway. That was an unexpected stream of consciousness.

When I was rifling through the stuff I brought back from three months on the road, I realised a lot of it was papers or things that don’t really mean anything to the person looking over my shoulder.

But these bits and pieces are just a few of the things that inspire me to write, travel or create better.

And I could get a pin up board or invest in a hell of a lot of blu-tack and get an inspiration wall going, but that’s fraught with the danger of being so transient. So here’s my virtual inspiration wall (with photos taken on the floor):

Some call it hoarding... I call it inspirational ephemera

I’ve got a few close-ups of some of the things, but others I don’t or they don’t need one….

Random free postcards: I love postcards that have strange text on them. If you’re a bit of a squinter or have trouble making out blue text on canary yellow backgrounds, this one at the bottom says, “I wrote his name on my toast in vegemite. Then I ate it.” It makes me chuckle even though I don’t like vegemite and I certainly wouldn’t write someone’s name on my toast with it. But I like the fact that someone out there has or does and isn’t afraid to admit it.

Biographies: Right now I’m reading The Andren Report. It’s a double edged sword in that it’s an inspirational book about a fairly ordinary guy. But it’s also making me homesick for Orange and the people who live there. It’s good to know he was drawn to the rolling green hills and the four seasons much like I am.

Bird by Bird: I unknowingly carry a bit of a bird theme through this. But Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is a great book about writing and living and getting past the writers block. And it’s refreshingly honest. I’ve been carrying it around in my bag for the last week, waiting to need it. That, and I’m a book nerd.

The Lucky Country: This book is also in my bag (see, told you I was a book nerd) and it’s playing a bit of a role in my ‘what next’ plotting and planning. Can’t tell you much else, but you should read it.

Frequent flyer card (that thing with the old-school air hostess on it): I’m a caffeine addict. It inspires me. I thrive on it. I have a lovingly handcrafted coffee right next to me as I type it. As a result of this dastardly addiction, I have seen my fair share of coffee loyalty cards – the more creative the better I say. This one is from Artisan Roast in Glasgow (I used up my frequent flyer card from the Edinburgh cafe.)

What he said...

The Guardian: I have far too many clippings from this newspaper that have made me laugh, smile or think. A smart and relevant newspaper that we don’t quite have in Australia. And you have to love a newspaper that has the above closing paragraph to a story.

Number, colour, destination...

Public transport: I love public transport. I love the people watching, the deciphering the maps of the various underground, plotting how you’re going to hop from one line to another. Call me small town but I love it. And I love it when your map gets personalised. Just so you know, the love is residing at Porte de Charenton station…

Things that make me laugh until I cry:

Laughing 'til I cry at comedy

There’s nothing better than having a good old belly laugh. And it’s even better if you laugh so hard that you cry. Adam Hills’ show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was bloody hard to get into (spot the girl hanging around the box office at 5pm for the cast off tickets…) but it made me laugh until I was wiping tears from my face.

It's funny... but we all know someone like that!

And also stupid cards like this make me giggle, sometimes uncontrollably. Laughing is good.

"Strolling through Istanbul" - Arjen J Zwart

Black and white photography: I love black and white photography, so much so I spent 2004 shooting only in black and white in the dying days of actual black and white film. The ability to capture an extra bit of spirit or essence that gets lost in colour is pretty amazing.

Andrew Denton... every 2005-era journalism student wanted to be him.

Good, meaty interviews: Once upon a time in 2005 when I was a 2nd year radio student at Murdoch Uni, there was compulsory viewing – Enough Rope with Andrew Denton. We were all wide-eyed and flabbergasted on a Monday night  at 9:30 simply for his ability to draw the innermost feelings, secrets and anecdotes from some of the world’s most fascinating people. I couldn’t tell you what the hell is on the ABC at 9:30pm Monday anymore. When I grow up I want to be… Andrew Denton.

I *heart* frankie

frankie magazine: frankie is my favourite magazine on the planet. She needs no introduction. It’s hard to explain her… she’s funky, smart, geeky and makes me crack up nine times out of ten.  frankie inspires me to be… me.

A bird skirt and cheap earrings

A bird skirt and cheap earrings: I love crazy patterns and I love bright colours (although I do have an absurd amount of black in my wardrobe / floordrobe)  so it’s only right that some absurdly cheap turquoise earrings and a bright green bird skirt should inspire me… in exactly what way I’m unsure. But trust me, I’m in inspired.

Um… yes, thanks for taking a look at some random bits and pieces. After all that! But it really is what inspires me to write well, observe well and pique my spirit of adventure.


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