This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group. Click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.
This month’s question — Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?
It has–what a great question! Way back 30 years ago, I went to one of the San Diego, California museums and happened to walk through a diorama of ancient man. One particular picture caught my attention:
This is Lucy, the 3.2 million year-old Australopithecene who caught everyone’s attention in the 1970’s when her skeletal remains were discovered by Donald Johanson. At first glance, I saw only a primitive female more ape than man, but then I found the eyes. In them, I saw empathy, humanity, caring, fear, excitement–exactly what you and I feel.
When I tried to read an explanation of how earliest man survived despite untenable obstacles, the texts quickly devolved into academic discussions. I wanted her passion for life, what drove her to fight for survival when she should have died. So I wrote that book and called it Born in a Treacherous Time. In it, I would bring Lucy’s world to life in a way never seen before.
That started the multi-trilogy Man vs. Nature saga:
Based on a true story, this is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion. We follow early humans as they struggle to survive a world where Nature is King and man is prey. What didn’t kill them made them stronger.
The first trilogy is Dawn of Humanity (only Born in a Treacherous Time is published so far–more coming soon) and grew into the Crossroads trilogy (Book 1 is Survival of the Fittest) about man’s life 850,000 years ago. I’m planning a third trilogy–a sequel to Crossroads–and a fourth that will spotlight Cro Magnon man.
I’m still inspired.
More on #IWSG
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Fall 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning