A Picture Inspires Two Thousand Words #IWSG

Happy February, everyone! Where the flip did January go? It's a little bit scary to me that we're already a full month into the new decade. But then, sometimes it's difficult for me to accept that we ever left the 1980s in the first place, so perhaps the passage of time has always been a problem for me.

ANYWHO! Let's get onto this month's optional question:

Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story?


What was it and did you finish it?

It was my short story "Impressionism 101". And yes, I finished it, but it's only 2,000 words, so that's not a huge brag. BUT I am very proud of it. The way it came about was that I took a shower. Okay, there's a little bit more to the story than that...

I was active on a fanfiction site that was holding original fiction contests. I'd recently competed in one and didn't get so much as a stinking Honorable Mention. So I was a tad bitter when the next contest theme was announced: Silly, Sexy, and Supernatural.

After seeing the new contest announcement, I promptly decided, "Well, that's a stupid theme," and then I took that shower. Under the warm stream of water, free from mental distractions, my wheels started turning. For some reason, a very specific Renoir painting was in my mind, one of a young woman and her baby sister (at least, that's who I assumed the little girl was), and from there, a story was woven---one that ended up incorporating many paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago's Impressionist collection.

And guess what? I wrote the story, submitted it to the contest, and won! So don't ever, ever, ever let a failure or rejection keep you down. Every single story you write is a fresh opportunity.

Winning the contest was very cool. It was the first time I honestly believed that maybe I didn't suck at this writing thing that I loved so much. But do you want to know what was even cooler? When I visited the newly renovated Impressionist wing at the Art Institute years later and saw that my lead was hanging right next to her silly, sexy & supernatural boyfriend! 

They found each other!!!

I've made copies of this short, fanciful tale (rated PG-13) available to download for free at Prolific Works, so if you're curious, please click here or on either of the pictures above to download a PDF. 

This post is part of the:

Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. This wonderful group for writers was begun by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavannaugh.

This month's awesome Co-Hosts:


L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOL - that's adorable they found each other. Congrats on winning that one.

Jennifer Lane said...

That's a very cool story! What year was the contest? I think that was before I joined the site.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Love this! I'm always amazed how water - showers, baths, washing dishes, etc - helps with creativity.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great you won. Now you know the secret. Take more showers.

Carrie-Anne said...

That's an awesome story! We often succeed most just when we've started to believe we're going to fail.

Julie Flanders said...

What a great story! Love it. And I have found inspiration while in the shower too LOL. I don't know why but it works.

Sadira Stone said...

How cool that your story was inspired by classic artwork. And yeah, the shower is a great place to find inspiration. Must be the negative ions from all that falling water.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Cool story about winning the contest. Funny where we get ideas for our stories.

Karen Baldwin said...

Showers always get my creative juices flowing too. So creative to have weaved a supernatural tale using Renoir's paintings. BIG congrats.

Olga Godim said...

What an amazing story! Renoir and supernatural - that would have me stumped. I doubt even a shower would've helped. Big congratulations on that win.

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Tara Tyler said...

how awesome is that!
great to hear from you lately =)
and i gave you a shout at my blog this week.

glad we’re friends!

Tara Tyler Talks

JackHarry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Di Gesu said...

Great story, Nikki...

How are things. It's been TOO LONG... let's catch up soon..

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