Elizabeth Black writes erotic and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and cats. Look for her short story "Alicia", published by Mocha Memoirs Press, at Amazon.
I like to challenge myself by writing stories that are outside my comfort zone. I'm worknig on one now in which the primary theme is war. I've decided to tackle the Angels of Mons story, a legend that took place in 1914. It never actually happened, and it's based on a fictitious story too many people took for reality. Think of reactions to the radio show "The War Of The Worlds" and you have the right idea.
The Angels of Mons is quite a fascinating story. This legend supposedly took place during the battle of Mons during World War I. It involves German forces pushing back the British to the point that the British were going to lose the battle. British troops prayed to Saint George, patron saint of cavalry and soldiers, and in response the heavens unleashed a torrent of angels holding bows and arrows to drive the Germans away from the British, causing the Germans to retreat, thereby winning the battle for the British. Here's a famous painting of the Angels of Mons.
In order to inspire myself, I read period literature and, in this case history. I find the more familiar and comfortable I am with a subject, the easier it is for me to write about it. I've read the original story "The Bowmen", which is the basis for the Angels Of Mons story. The story also has a Lovecraftean edge, so those Angels aren't angels. They're the Old Ones! I've been rereading my Lovecraft books lately to get in the mood for this story.
Other things I do for inspiration is to listen to uplifting and trippy music. I like techno and trance, especially when I'm writing. I walk on the beach nearly every day, and listening to the ocean surf and walking in the waves helps to clear my head. I live on the Massachusetts coast, and the beaches here are like something out of a Daphne du Maurier novel. I drink my coffee while walking on the beach, and I'm going to keep doing it until it gets too cold to go outside. Considering the effects of global warming, I may be able to return to the beach more often this autumn and winter than I have been in years past. I sure hope so! I love walking on the beach.
So there you have it. I don't wait for inspiration. I actively seek it. I do my best work when I don't fight my muse.