Posted by kari.petroschmidt
This is Helen Keller – otherwise known to me as the woman I did my very first book report on way back in second grade. I say “I”, but I really mean “my mother and I”. My mother ordered me her biography from the Scholastic books catalogue and read it with me over and over again, helping me to write in perfect print on the lined pages of my report and painstakingly drawing the illustrations which I would colour in. I was very proud of that book report, something that my mother and I worked on together. I remain so to this day.
Inspiration comes in many forms over the years. It comes through reading about famous people doing amazing things and through people that are close to you. It comes through your surroundings. It can come at the most random of moments, when you are sitting in a bar wondering if mice wander around at night and drink up the milk you just spilled on the floor while pouring it into your tea. The second story I ever got published came from that 30 seconds of inspiration.
My inspirations for Throw Like a Girl have come from various people and places over the years. Helen Keller. My mother. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Reid. I thought she was ancient. She put the fire of learning in us. There’s Itzak Perlman, who I’ve seen in concert several times. At seven, he made me want to play the violin. That led me straight to my current bliss of learning the bass guitar. Tamora Pierce, the young adult author who made me want to become a writer. My best friend in high school, *Marlee*, who was one of the most independent and devil-may-care people I’ve ever known. I remember a foray through the Strategic Air Command Museum in Nebraska on a trip to see my grandparents in Montana when I was 11. My camera fell on the ground, exposing the film – or so I thought. I took 36 pictures of various aircraft, thinking they would never come out, but instead got 36 perfect pictures. I taped them all over my bedroom wall. Another inspirational moment was meeting John Glenn – astronaut and, for some years, my Ohio state senator.
There was my professor at my Foreign Semester program during the time in undergrad that I spent studying and interning in Washington, D.C. He used to go off on all these fabulous carefully-worded tangents. There are so many more people and so many more instances of inspiration, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by just how much inspiration I’ve been exposed to.
Suddenly, one day, you think, “I must do something”. I must use all that inspiration I’ve absorbed and channel it in some way. So, you come up with an idea. As if on autopilot, you write down everything. Conceive the mission. Internalize the motto. Even design the logo. Months later, three young women come along and inspire you to think your idea is actually possible. Then, Audacious comes along and gives you all the impetus to start the ball rolling in a big way.
Inspiration is where you find it. It is all around you. And, sometimes you realize that it’s been right in front of your nose all along.
Which brings me back to what inspiration is all about in the first place and, coincidentally, Throw Like a Girl’s motto: “One should never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar.” – Helen Keller
Natasha J. Stillman is the Director of Throw Like a Girl (competing in Audacious this semester) and a Dunedin based writer who is following her bliss.