The Slant: Finding Inspiration by the Pinprick

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By: Roderick Reed
By: Roderick Reed

No matter what kind of work you do, finding the inspiration to get the wheel turning and keep it turning is a challenge. Designers, artists, writers and other creative types know the dilemma well. For those fortunate enough to live in Laguna Beach there is sometimes an answer to inspiration available with a walk out your back door. Sometimes…

I am an interior designer who is fortunate to be busy with plenty to do.

The dilemma is to have inspired ideas in an assembly line type, quickish fashion. In my current project I was looking for a certain color to inspire one of the rooms I was working on. It was not happening. So, frustrated, as I often do, I got on my bike and decided to hit the trails at Top of World and take a break.

Beautiful day, hardly anyone on the trail, I pedaled along the fire road and made a fast descent down one of my favorite trails.

I decided I was now in the best mood and started to think about looking for whatever it took to make me feel creative.

Of course a well-timed good mood and a front tire caught in a crack in the dirt make a devilish combination.

The trail I was on is called Rocket.(Rock-It) Not because it is fast ( it is) but because it is vertical and slippery, slidey, forearm burning on the brakes, rocky. All the way down.

Over the handle bars, pedal clips now disengaged flying through the air I am wondering if I will make the front page of the Laguna Beach Independent with narrative about a helicopter rescue of a Laguna local whose friends and family are planning an event to raise money for my new prosthetic legs.

What a lame day. This is the worst day ever and it is not even 9 a.m yet!

Thump. Backside stabbed by cactus I am laying on my back.

Then it happened. The perfect green to harmonize with the gray I had selected for my interior design project! That beautiful, curvy, attractive cactus offered me the perfect green! I took a picture with my phone.

You know the saying, “Inspiration is where you find it. I never really understood that saying until that day.

In Laguna everything is beautiful and sometimes the most unlikely source can inspire. Even a cactus.

I went back later and dug the cactus up, where it now sits in a pot on my deck. Her name is Kathy.

Roderick Reed owns REEDesign, an interior design firm in Laguna Beach. He lives in town with his wife Kathy and two sons, Mason and Jack. He can be contacted at 949-715-5356



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  1. Thank you foe the response to this story. This story won the Orange County Press Club award for most humorous story in March 2014.


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