Inspiration Board

In my office it\’s known as a bulletin board, but I like the idea of inspiration board which is a concept popularized by fashion and design bloggers of late. It\’s a board of photos, quotes and items designed to inspire me when I\’m faced with writer\’s block, or simply calm me, when I need it. Which is often.

\"\"This is the latest version, recently renovated on a chilly Saturday a few weekends ago, when the weather was just too vicious to bear much outside time, and reorganizing the kitchen shelves somehow didn\’t hold the same appeal.

Some pieces were removed, some re-pined to the board, some found the recycling bin, others the shoe box of things I can\’t yet leave behind.

The left side is a collection of old photos, newspaper clippings, drawings and a few favorite firsts, including my very first press pass – issued to interview Pat Parelli. I remember walking out of Pat and Linda\’s motorhome that long ago afternoon at the Claresholm Agriplex, breath taken somewhat away by the energy and passion of this incredibly driven couple. It was clear to me they were going to reach a great many people throughout their careers.

\"\"There\’s a photo of myself cutting to remind me how much I love this sport, and inspire a return to it. Below it is tacked a poem Teenager wrote about my cutting mare, Iggy. Have I ever told you my Teenager is an amazing poet? She would probably prefer I let you know that the poem pictured above was written many years ago, not in her current senior high school year.

\"\"There\’s the roots corner – an old drawing, the farm, my beloved barn, the chicken house. My mom, over a very many years nurtured hundreds of chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys whose lives began in that tiny outbuilding. That long twig-like object is a vintage piece of tinsel, derived of foil and an incredibly fragile and thin glass. It once graced our Christmas tree.

\"\"Wee composes the odd poem as well, and this one is adorned with a couple of shots of my Dad. Those two were a pair – Wee and my father.

There\’s a few photos, artwork and other items to remind me of what I\’d like to write about sometime.


My favorite photo of Joan Didion. There\’s something hauntingly familiar about this snapshot, it always grabs me. I\’m into a book of Didion\’s this week – Slouching Towards Bethlehem – not her latest – Blue Nights, but you can find that on literary lists and bookstores. She rocked the world of journalism in the \’60\’s and 70\’s, and followed up with an amazing life collection of non-fiction in later decades. Equally, her poise and prose I intensely admire. Ready for any interview, any time, I love her \”To Pack and Wear\” list, which she kept taped to the inside of her closet door. Oh, to have the freedom of spirit to travel this lightly to any horse show, exchanging naturally, the stockings and skirt, for denim and boots.


Near to it, this. The backlight, the absence of the typical female encumbrances such as a purse – nothing but sunglasses, a casual pair of jeans and sweater, and the incredible sense of playfulness in her eyes. Jackie Kennedy would have been in her 40\’s when this was snapped by paparazzi photographer, Ronald Galella. Of the entire collection of her posed and pretty photographs, this, her most beautiful, in my view.

I wasn\’t conscious of the parallel of these two women\’s lives when I tacked these shots up on the board, but recognize now that both endured great tragedies in their prime. Strong females definitely a recurrent theme in my personal reportaire of icons.

Inspiration boards, the barn chalkboard, pinboards, bulletin boards, the fridge door for that matter; the point is surround yourself with a slice of the incredibleness of your world, your history, and that of which drives you. It will spur you to remember to stop and enjoy it once in a while.

So, hey, share – what\’s on your board?

\"\"It just so happens I was recently scrounging through the Western Horse Review storage locker and discovered a box of goodies we really should think about dispersing, including a stack of Corb Lund\’s vintage Hair on my Eyes Like a Highland Steer, which we\’ve apparently been hoarding since 2005(?).  Come to think of it, the photo on this CD cover illustrates an inspiration wall. As incentive to get you thinking about your inspiration board, and what is, or might be on it, we\’ll do a random draw amongst the comments below and give away one of Corb\’s CD\’s.

So share . . . it\’s a mandatory activity.

P.S. – I nearly forgot to announce last week\’s winner of the On the Trail daytimer. Andrea, claim your prize by contacting [email protected]. Congrats!



4 thoughts on “Inspiration Board”

  1. On my board is a sign that says “I’m so busy I don’t know if I’ve lost my horse or found a rope”. It was a gift from a very good friend who knows me too well. I love that sign!

  2. i have a clipping from the cowtown addition of bridle and bit, an advertisement of marcy vermeers that says “dont let dreams be dreams”, reminds me why i drag my butt to work day after day…:)

  3. I have a couple I like to use often “To Err is Human to Forgive Canine” and “Families are like Fudge, mostly Sweet with a few NUTS”

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