Easy answer: Any source that inspires a poem.
The writing process for me is the same be it poem, short story or novel. When ideas come, I scribble down a line or two capturing the essence of my initial thought then work it until complete. Capture the idea. Write the first draft. Rewrite and edit until satisfied.
In The Mystery Of The Death Hearth the poem ideas come from the story line. Each chapter opens with a poem or short narrative serving as a clue or mood-setter for not only that chapter but for the entire story.
In Chapter 24 for example, a key character—a hired assassin—reluctantly accepts a new target given by his employer. The opening poem sets the tone. After completing the chapter, the idea for the poem appeared and I jotted it down on my notepad. Here’s a rendition of the original idea.
Death knocked upon the door.
The workman stood most weary;
Tired and spent without rest from labor dark and dreary.
Time he felt to quit this job, his muscles knotted, tired and sore.
Just one more thing he had to do:
Answer the knock upon his door.
There are many places in my home state I enjoy visiting but few can compare to the beauty and interest of Eureka Springs, Arkansas and the folks that call this place home. Beautiful scenery, tourist sites, boating, fishing, hiking and just about all manner of outdoor recreational fun galore aside, there’s also a unique side to this area: its less than corporal inhabitants. By that, I mean ghostly haunts and otherworldly spirits.
A number of buildings in this area reputedly hold inhabitants from the ghostly realms. Among the more famous is the beautiful (and some say beautifully haunted) Crescent Hotel. In fact, their ghosts are so famous the Crescent is known as America’s most haunted hotel.
“Officially known as the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, its legend has been formed from the many guests who checked out but have never left.
These famous spirits include Michael, the Irish stonemason who fell to his death while building the hotel in 1885, Theodora, the cancer patient of the Dr. Baker hospital days who seems to need help finding her room key, Norman Baker in his white suit and lavender shirt, Morris the cat, a mystery patient in a white nightgown who appears in the luxury suites at the foot of your bed or any of the innumerable…”
In fact, the Crescent is so haunted they even conduct official ghost tours of the place which will end in the morgue. Yes, there’s an old morgue.
The tour and ghost hunting is still (possibly) on my list of things to do. If they are as interesting as the rest of Eureka Springs, the adventure shouldn’t be a disappointment, spooky haunts or not.