#IWSG – Inspiring Artwork

Today brings us closer to the release of the new IWSG anthology, Voyagers: The Third Ghost on May 5, 2020. I can’t wait to see what other contributors have penned.

Review copies have been ordered and the eBooks uploaded. These are the purchase links:

Amazon – Print https://www.amazon.com/dp/193984472X/ Kindle https://www.amazon.com/Voyagers-Third-Ghost-Yvonne-Ventresca-ebook/dp/B083C4WPR5/

Barnes & Noblehttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/voyagers-yvonne-ventresca/1135912991?ean=2940163430857


Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/voyagers-the-third-ghost

Today also sees ‘Flying Fur’, my post about the emergence of my tale. Read the post on the IWSG Anthology blog at https://iwsganthologies.blogspot.com/2020/02/in-spotlight-roland-clarke-author-of.html?showComment=1580912370761#c7777400888558189756

Posts from the other authors will appear in forthcomings weeks and months – as will other news on Voyagers: The Third Ghost.

I’m grateful the Ninja Captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh who created the Insecure Writer’s Support Group as they do such amazing things for writers, from the annual Anthology to the IWSG monthly blog post. Many thanks, Captain Alex.

And that IWSG day is here again – and so am I, less insecure after jumping that first Anthology hurdle.

Anyway, on to the monthly question which creates so many fascinating posts – apologies in advance for the slow visits on my part – I’m wading through January’s email backlog still.

February 5 question – Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

Although, inspiration comes from various directions including dreams, I’ll have to admit that photos and works of art do trigger my mind to create.

First off, I was a photographer so trained my eye to frame a picture and learnt to appreciate other photographers’ work.

Borde Hill Horse Trials publicity shot – Photo: Roland Clarke

While editing my debut novel, Spiral of Hooves, I thought about the sequel, provisionally called ‘Tortuous Terrain’, and again about crime in the horse world. But not the sport of eventing where I worked as a journalist and photographer.

I had considered Endurance but never photographed it, although there is a short scene in ‘Spiral of Hooves‘ foreshadowing the sequel’s sport. But it was this photo from the 100-mile Tevis Cup that inspired the main plot-line. However, another equestrian sport, Barrel Racing is also featured – and I have taken some photos of my step nieces competing in that.

My wife’s photo of Snowdon on this website’s header and above my desk is one of the inspirations behind my series Snowdon Shadows, police procedural stories featuring Sparkle Anwyl.

Which brings us to art and a decades-long appreciation for Dutch masterpieces. Although my initial appreciation was for 17th century works as my family owned a few, it was Van Gogh that capped the passion. So, Café Terrace at Night (1888) is special and will be the inspiration for the WEP/IWSG Challenge flash creation in two weeks. But I need to work on the new case for Sparkle and Kama, ‘Custody Chain’, even if Skadi wanted to meet Vincent at a Stadacona café in 1892.


The awesome co-hosts for the The awesome co-hosts for the February 5 posting of the IWSG are Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson!

(Once again, you must agree these guys are the best. They all have commitments too – but they volunteer. Ticker-tape applause for all of them – plus toasts too.)

Purpose of IWSG: 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!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

34 thoughts on “#IWSG – Inspiring Artwork

  1. Hi Roland. Lots of news today. I’ll try to get across to some of the links you’ve posted. Exciting that the anthology can now be purchased.
    Love the photography! Love horses!

    See you at WEP soon. Looking forward to what you write for Cafe Terrace.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So interesting, Roland. I literally broke out in chills looking at the horse climbing a mountain. I had never heard of the Tevis Cup. What an event! I can appreciate horses as magnificent creatures, but horses and I have had difficult relationships. I’m frightened of horses and heights, hence the chills. There are a lot of artists in my background, so that’s where I learned to frame photos. I loved your image of the firebird. I’m looking forward to reading your story!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on the anthology – I’ve pre-ordered my copy & am looking forward to early May. Some wonderful stories here of your experiences with images. I knew I’d find inspiring photos here because of your photography background, but didn’t know about your interest in 17th century art. I’m going to be giving it a try as a source of inspiration. Take care m’dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Roland for your beautiful photographs and for telling us the stories behind your work. Van Gogh is really the most cited painter this month. Can’t wait to read your WEP. I also love Rembrandt and have several poster reproductions in my bedroom along with Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch. Have you ever visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and the Rijks Museum ? See you on WEP and now ordering my Anthology. Thanks for all the links.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The WEP prompt for February triggered a Van Gogh interest in many writers I suspect, Susan. I went to several impressive Dutch museums with Van Gogh works, including the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, where Café Terrace at Night – the prompt painting – is housed; so I’ve seen the actual painting.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Getting photos of horses in motion took trial and error at first, Ellen – and a lot of B&W film. But I got my results up to 95+% after a few decades. Barrel racing IS fun and my step-nieces are super-talented pros now.


    • That Tevis Cup photo of the horse on the hill is brilliant – and both the horse and the photographer are amazing, Damyanti. Not sure I ever caught anything as spectacular – unless you count a falling horse and rider as that.


  5. Roland, you can see your expertise in your photographs. Wow! I wish I could take photos like that. And because your photos are excellent, I can see how they would lend themselves to story creation. I can’t imagine where the photographer stood/sat to get that shot of the horse climbing up the mountain or boulders. All best to you, my dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Only the one photo is mine, Victoria, but thanks for the praise. I may be tempted to post some more one day. I’ve used a couple of others in earlier posts. The climbing shot is amazing and well sited.


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