Tuesday, March 12, 2019

WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATION? #writing #creativity

Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raine

As I put the finishing touches to a first draft, I thought about what inspired me to write the story in the first place.

Wooden Headstone - SilveCliff Cemetery
photo copywriten and property of the author
First. I am a compulsive reader. I have been since a very early age. If it is printed, then I pretty much have to read it.

Second, I love history. This goes along with the compulsive reading. Add to that a ridiculous joy in digging through old books, researching ancestors, and the lives of people who lived way back when and you might get a small glimpse of what whirls around in this head of mine.

Third, I am an avid movie watcher, especially the old black and whites. Give me a film noir and I'm  a pretty happy camper. A good B-Western or early Western TV show can also be great fun. How many of you ever saw the short lived Tony Young 1961 TV western 'Gunslinger'? I used to stay up and watch that show. (I had very understanding parents.) Boy did that show fuel my imagination back then.

After moving west in my twenties, all things western history took over. My friends and I, in those early days, would take off in the truck and head into all parts of the state. One of my early trips was to the Taylor Park area and the ghost towns located there. Imagine doing the polka at 9,000+ feet in the town of Tin Cup. I later did research and found out that small little 'ghost' town at one time had the distinction of being one of the roughest towns in Colorado. The story is, seven marshals were killed there in just a few months time.
Stacks Image 36
Tin Cup town hall where the author went
to a dance. from TinCupCo.com
Now, I spend time reading books about the ghost towns of Colorado, both in the mountains and on the plains. I've researched early settlements, the fur trade forts, railroad history and the lives of some of the early residents.

Perhaps my greatest pleasure and constant source of research and fun is the story of early women, especially the women doctors who were practicing medicine prior to 1900. Theirs is a story that I will continue to research and write about until I can write no more.

All of these pieces come together in the stories I write and the non-fiction papers.

I've told you some of what inspires me. I can still enjoy 'The Cisco Kid', 'Have Gun Will Travel'. If an old Rocky Lane movie comes on I will try to catch it. Of the singing cowboys, I'll take Eddie Dean over any of the others. He may not have been a compelling actor, but his voice was pure gold.
Eddie Dean - Cool Water

I've re-read Louis L'Amour's "Flint" at least six times and Elmore Leonard's "Three-Ten to Yuma" story is a must.

What is your inspiration? What is your favorite TV show, favorite B-Western, or novel?

Watch for the latest Kiowa Wells story coming in April.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here


Lori L. Robinett said...

Saw "Tin Cup" and my heart leapt! One of my absolute best memories is driving a Jeep up and over Tin Cup Pass (we started in St. Elmo). It was an amazing trip - beautiful scenery - and I kept imagining what it must've been like all those years ago.

Renaissance Women said...

Lori, I have some great memories of the area also. Might be kind of tough in winter, but it is a beautiful area. Love the Taylor river.

I confess, it has been interesting to try to convey the area in the current WIP, but it has been worth it. Doris

Elizabeth Clements said...

Doris, I LOVE ghost towns and would love to explore some. I'm totally envious of your experience visiting them, such as Tin Cup, and would love to learn more. Guess I'll have to go Google me some. I love the old dusters and tv westerns. This was a fun post to read.

Renaissance Women said...

Thank you, Elizabeth.I've been fortunate to not only visit these places, but have the ability to research even more is a blessing. Colorado Historic Newspapers and Newspaper Archives plus books and articles keep me a happy person. Doris