Scrambling for Inspiration


During my recent Alaskan vacation, I was without the ability to write for 10 days. This, of course, was during my sprint to finish my novel as quickly as possible and I had just finished putting down close to 15k words in as much time.

After nine days of anguish, my wife and I were left in Anchorage with several hours and no more crazy destinations to achieve. So what do a couple of tourists do with a seemingly endless amount of time?

We go to the museum.

Now I've become more acclimated to museums since meeting my wife. For the longest time, that was our destination any time we were out of town. This one was pretty traditional.

First floor: Historical Artwork
Second floor: Artifacts through Alaskan History
Third floor: Post-Modern Crap
Fourth floor: Glacier Gallery

Now my favorite part came with a tucked away gallery on the second floor.

It showcased each of the native Alaskan tribes, showing a looping video spread across seven monitors that talked about what it meant to them to be native in modern times. Beyond that, floor to ceiling glass cases contained artifacts, allowing you to see through them to the other tribes. Along those cases were touch screens that contained pictures, quotes, and knowledge about each of the pieces.

This is what my story needed.

So much so that any time my wife asked me what my favorite part of our trip was, my immediate answer was that gallery. Then, she'd roll her eyes, huff with indignation, and clarify, "Other than the museum."


Justin D. Herd

Justin D. Herd is a purveyor of the weird and strange. He occasionally squawks at friends and family, but does so only under the cover of night. Okay, that's not true. He squawks in full daylight. Drinking games have been built around his peculiarities, but the truth of it is this: he is a loving husband, with two wonderful dem--children. One growls at things he likes, including pretty women. The other has started to learn hand-eye coordination. Neither had made it to the tender age of three. From there, things will only get more interesting. He spends most of his writing time either at a coffee shop or sitting at one of his many desks around his house. Any other place makes it nearly impossible for him to write. He uses horror movies and rock music to help get the juices flowing. His favorite authors are Jeremy Robert Johnson, Alan Campbell, Terry Pratchett, Justin Cronin, and Patrick Rothfuss. He consumes most of his books through audiobooks, but still loves his personal library and getting lost in the printed word.