Inspiration: Purple – Double edition

This week my prompt for inspiration photos comes from S.L. Armstrong: purple! I love purple, so I figured, why not? There were a lot of the expected pictures: sunsets, flowers. But a few unexpected ones as well. I actually found a lot, lot, lot, so you get thirteen photos this week instead of seven!

“The Cromwell Tree”

This tree puts me in the mind of something like Ferngully, where the tree is trapping some evil thing and is thus misshapen and twisted because of it. Though there’s a few types of trees this is normal with (oaks, for example) it just seems something odd in our eyes, since it’s abnormal in nature to find this kind of thing.

I have to wonder: What kind of evil does the tree hold–a person, an animal, something in between? Who trapped it there? What happened to the person who trapped the evil in the tree?

For the record, this kind of idea is actually something I’ve seen more than just in Ferngully, including in some Native American folk tales. The idea that a gnarly tree traps or holds down (there’s old folk stories in at least one European tradition about burying things whose spirits you want held down/quieted under the roots of a strong tree) evil isn’t a new one.

The title of the photo probably means that it has some kind of cultural significance, but I couldn’t find anything on a quick-and-dirty Google.

“The Lee of the Stone”

If not for the title, I think I would have passed this picture by as an inspirational one and just posted it on Flickr instead, as a look at the pretty type thing. But the title made me take a second look, and it made me think about other things like that: things that are so beautiful but are in many ways untouchable, until some odd quirk adds a level of humanity to them.

I don’t normally favor stories with protagonists so beautiful that they are irresistible, for that reason alone: a lot of the time when someone sees another person like that, they think that it’s impossible that they’ll ever be attracted to little old them–who is normal, or at least not breathtakingly beautiful. A story on those lines might be fun… the untouchable beauty who ends up being a lot more imperfect than one would think.

“Erlin Park”

If not for the building in the photo, this could have been taken before photos were even invented; the park has a timeless quality to it. But civilization, ever-greedy, encroaches, and the timeless scene becomes dated.

Nature fighting against an ever-expanding civilization is a theme in a lot of work, but I have to think about the flip side of it: what about those who are glad for it? What of someone who is overjoyed when the railroad finally goes by their small homestead, and stands and watches at every train that passes? What about the person who’s been on dial-up for years and finally gets cable? What about the housewife who is so happy about the invention of the washing machine–there was a lot of this, in the time it was invented–that she sits and watches the clothes be washed? There could be a wizard who is happy when non-magic-tech catches up to magic-tech; a sorcerer who delights in the creation of new, sometimes useless, spells which they then share.

There’s so many places that this could go; the sky is in no way the limit.

“Lost in the Fog II”

The thing that I love about the title of this picture is the suggestion that it is not the first time that they’ve been lost in the fog. The posture of the person in the photo suggests it is a leisurely stroll. What kind of things roll in with the fog, I wonder? Fairies? Mythical creatures? Or do they simply love the feeling of walking a familiar route with unfamiliar surroundings?


This picture makes me think about the tink of the beads as the wheel turns, the feeling of wind in my face, my hair, and closing my eyes to pretend that I’m flying.

It seems like once you grow up, bikes cease to be something fun; they cease to be comforting. But this picture reminded me of what I used to think about bikes, and I think I’m going to buy some of those things and put them on my bike!

So far as stories go, there’s a lot that can be done with the re-examination of childish things as an adult. Old TV shows, old toys, old thought processes–there’s a hell of a lot of things that you used to do when you were a kid but you don’t do anymore, so I wager it’s the same for your characters too.

“The Destroyed Station”

I love the desolate quality of this picture, though it’s undoubtedly a place that people built and, by the lights in the distance, still inhabited. It makes me think about technology becoming obsolete, and what happens when new technology comes along to replace the old?

What will happen to cars when space ships become the norm? What’s going to happen to phones and desktop computers, with the advent of things like iPads? Are printed books really obsolete, or is paper going to be around forever, even if it’s less popular? What did electricity make obsolete?

Pretty much any new technology, you can look at and see what came before it. It’s fun!


There’s two places that my brain goes with this: teenagers playing dress-like-Lady Gaga with the supplies that they have at hand OR drag queens/kings. You can probably guess which one is more fun for me, though both are write-able ideas.

I think just about anyone can probably figure out a story for this one! It’s just an incredibly endearing sort of thing to receive–or not, depending on who might have sent it. Was it from an ex? Do they recognize who it is by the handwriting? Are they going to hide it from their current SO? Are they going to act on it?

Or was it from their SO, the day after they have a huge fight? There’s just soooo many possibilities for this one, and each interesting to me.

“Self-portrait on a Friday Night”

The thing that makes this interesting to me is not the individual elements: the robe, the boa, the shoes, and the wine. The thing that makes it interesting is the combination of them, and the sort of pose she has that says she’s leisurely waiting for someone. Was the costume intentional? Did the person they’re waiting for request it? Why would someone request something like that? If it’s not intentional, are they going to like it? (Then again… why wouldn’t they?)

“Something This Way Comes”

I grew up in a rural area, so I have a thing for dirt roads. They can be a lot of fun, but they can be full of perils too. But one thing they always are is remote: if they had high traffic, they’d get paved (in theory).

This picture makes me think about wandering down a country road with my friend and something like this being presented itself to me. I think it would make me believe in magic, for sure! I mostly shared this image for that idea. What was summoned/emerged from the ether/etc? Spirit? Devil? Angel?

“Purple Dream”

What a poor, lonely little car. Even without the title, I would have thought this almost a scene from a dream. Is it a daydream or a nightdream? A sweet dream or a bad dream? A bad dream or a real nightmare?

And what kind of nightmare involves a lone sky car and a possibly endless climb?


I am really not sure how this picture came up when I searched for “purple”, but here it is! I included it because I happen to like POC, and it’s pretty rare to see them in bands. This picture makes me want to go back to writing the kind of stories I wrote when I was in college, original stories about bands that had best friends in love or a new guitarist falling in love with the self-absorbed singer or a poor drummer with a long-time one-sided crush on the bassist.

“Don’t Blame the Wine Glass for the Drunkard”

I love this picture, because despite the fact that the bottom half of her body looks very active, the top half is just hanging there and it’s obvious she’s not moving. So if she’s not flying, then what? Is someone trying out their new found powers on her? Is she scared? Excited? Do the two of them find the experience exhilarating and have sex right there in the middle of the field?

Plus it’s just a really cool picture.

And that’s it for this week! Whew, I’m beat @_@


2 thoughts on “Inspiration: Purple – Double edition

  1. I love “The Destroyed Station” and “Self Portrait on a Friday Night”. What a fun theme!

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