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  • Chet Meisner

Finding award winning inspiration while on vacation in San Diego

Updated: Jun 9, 2019

A #Poe-like tale is inspired by an 18th century painting in The Museum of Modern Art.

While on vacation in California we spent a day at San Diego's Balboa Park, a magnificent public park that's more than worth it if you're ever there. There's everything you could want . . . the Museum of Man, Museum of Natural History, Model Railroad Museum, Air and Space Museum, and much more. While my wife and daughter were roaming the Japanese Gardens (I had no interest) I cut out and went to the Museum of Modern Art.

Like most #writers, I'm always on the lookout for story ideas. The seventeenth and eighteenth century European art was simply stunning. The over sized portraits were amazingly realistic. Especially this one of a beautiful young Spanish woman. The eyes captivated me. It was as she was looking at ME. I had been considering writing a #story in the style of the old American masters, specifically Edgar Allen Poe. As I stood there I wondered what Poe would have done with such a portrait.

I walked around the museum for over an hour, but always came back to that portrait. It kept calling to me. Back at our hotel after dinner with my wife and daughter, I started to write. Trying my best to channel Poe, I imagined myself an intern at that museum and that I had developed a relationship with the painting. The story went from there. At home, after a couple of weeks KATRINA'S PORTRAIT emerged. My critique group liked it. I entered it in a collection and the story was chosen #1 our of 60 pieces that were accepted.

That #story appears in the front of the Florida Writers Association Collection, Volume 10, which is available on Amazon. Check it out.

And remember, art happens. Where and when, you never know. But keep your eyes open.

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