Endless Possibilities Blog Tour 2014: Katherine Gotthardt Goes where Few Dare to Tread

And welcome back for the Endless Possibilities Blog tour 2014, presented by Write by the Rails. Today, I am pleased to host Katherine Gotthardt. If Katherine’s name looks familiar, it is because she gave everyone a sneak peek at “Silver Linings” from The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. I have a lot of respect for Katherine as she does what I find to be a golden unicorn for me as an author: Poetry. She’s got several collections out there, and that takes moxie. She’s bringing some of that bravery and talent here today.

Welcome to the blog, Katherine!

katherine-gothardt-2-2012-chipI am honored to be hosted on Tee’s blog today.  Tee is a talented, unique author who manages both to write and motivate others.  Tee, thank you for having me and for all you do for Write by the Rails!

Below is a brief poem for your consideration.  It’s one of my few, less-serious pieces.  If you want serious and enjoy poetry, feel free to check out my books at www.katherinegotthardt.com. Enjoy!

Declaration

When in the course

of human events

it becomes necessary

to love and be left,

we want to believe

’tis better to have loved and lost,

but ’tis really better

(I think, when I recall,

the smell of your socks in the hall)

’tis much better to have told you

where to go.

Katherine’s poetry and prose have appeared in various online and text journals.  Poems from the Battlefield, a collection of her Civil War themed poetry, original and archival photos and period quotes, was published in 2009.  Katherine’s children’s book, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, was published in 2010.  Approaching Felonias Park, a novel focusing on predatory lending, was released in November, 2011.  Weaker Than Water, a second collection of Katherine’s poetry, came out in April, 2013.

When she is not writing creatively, Katherine freelances as a writer and editor, sets up websites and blogs, teaches blogging and writing and reports for Haymarket Beat.

Paying Attention: A Secret Behind Inspiration

iStock_000006201684XLarge “How do you get all those ideas?”

I rank this question up along with “How do you learn all those lines?” when I was the actor. It was a question actors dreaded, but I rarely think we were asked it when we had a “Meet & Greet” with the audience. It’s a fair enough question, though; and since I never got it when I was an actor, I’ll answer it here. “Rehearsal and repetition.” That’s the key in learning your lines, be it for a play, a presentation, or for a very important one-on-one you have on your books.

Now, as a writer, the ideas question tends to be the one that earns an eye-roll, but I don’t think it’s fair. People are genuinely curious how authors come up with what they put down on paper. Maybe it’s because they wonder how someone can think up Victorian secret agents investigating the unknown, or a dwarf-detective solving crimes in the Prohibition Era; and it’s a sincere question. I know that when I’ve read books I love, or enjoyed an episode of Almost Human or True Detective, I marvel at the air tight dialogue or incredible situations these talented writers come up with and wonder what drives them. It’s good to know where ideas come from and what makes them happen because inspiration keep you busy as a writer.

If there was a magic bullet in finding great ideas, it actually ties back to a trick I had with acting: Pay attention. The world around you is teeming with ideas, and inspiration can happen at any time. With technology, jotting ideas down has been made insanely easy, so now instead of carrying around the writer’s notebook, journal—or ledger as The Taxman does—you can whip out the smartphone and take notes. What’s key though in finding inspiration is paying attention to what’s around you. Many times, that’s all you need to get an idea going. 

Case in point, today the third season of Tales from the Archives launched; and I’m particularly proud of this story that Pip and I put together as it came from the unlikeliest of places: church. Now church is probably not the place where I should be in “Writer’s Mode” but Trinity Episcopal of Manassas prides itself on being a different kind of church. This particular day, Dennis Reid, was giving a sermon on Judas Iscariot; but not the kind of sermon you would think. He said something that struck me hard: Continue reading