The Herald Bulletin

June 12, 2013

How two central Indiana authors find inspiration

By Nancy R. Elliott The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON – The creative muse came into poet Stacy Savage’s life in response to a cataclysmic event. Savage’s first poem emerged at age 24, in 1999. That was the year that Savage lost her sister, who died following a car accident at the age of 22, pregnant with her third child.

That first poem, “From An Eagle’s View,” remains Savage’s most popular poem. She continues to receive requests for its use in different venues. Savage has been writing poetry ever since.

“I am a shy and quiet person. If you didn’t know me and just read my poetry, you wouldn’t get that impression. Poetry is an outlet for me to express myself in ways I can’t around others. I can just pour my heart out through poetry,” said Savage. She describes herself as a “rhymer.”

Like “From An Eagle’s View,” all of Savage’s poetry has celebrated nature, until recently.

“I used to write about nature, now it’s more about love,” said Savage. She’s been married to her husband, Phil, for two and a half years. Savage said that he is also a poet. “We write each other poems all the time.” Savage works as a child care supervisor in Anderson. She is mom to two kids, 19 and 17 years old.

Savage’s literary path includes reading poetry. Her favorite is Indiana’s own James Whitcomb Riley.

“I’m inspired by him and he was also a rhymer,” said Savage. “I can understand his words.”

Savage frequently sponsors poetry contests and produces books, inspiring others to craft words creatively for higher purposes.

“I believe in mixing poetry and good causes together. I’m constantly having poetry contests to benefit a good cause or to raise awareness for something,” said Savage. Watch for her next contest coming up in about a month to bring awareness for Ancestor Appreciation Day, which is Sept. 27. Keep track of Savage and her contests at www.authorsden.com/stacysavage.

Another route to poetry

Kathy Gerstorff has been writing most of her life, since she was a teen. Gerstorff suffered an abusive childhood until at age 14 she went to live with her aunt and uncle. She recalls that as a child in the ‘70s, resources were severely lacking to help her. At one point, she was locked up in a juvenile detention center with the objective of protecting her from her abusive stepfather.

She recalls having to take a lie detector test, and the awful necessity of having to tell her story over and over again to different authorities.

“We’ve come a long way since then,” said Gerstorff. Still, Gerstorff said there were a couple of places in the community back during those difficult days that helped her, and that has inspired her.

“I wanted to give back,” Gerstorff said. “As an adult, I wanted to help in my own unique way.” That has thus far taken the form of her cause-related poetry, published in two books, benefiting child abuse prevention and awareness.

Gerstorff’s creative genes may have come from her grandmother. “I would always see my grandmother with a notebook in her hands. I would wonder what she was writing about,” said Gerstorff. She laments that her grandmother’s writings were never found.

Nevertheless, said Gerstorff, “I love the idea of leaving a legacy for my grandchildren.”

Married for 32 years to husband Earl, Gerstorff has two kids, and three grandkids.

That legacy would include Gerstorff’s passions – her love of nature and of life, and enjoying the simple things.

Gerstorff is launching a bookstore in the Centrum Mall in Marion on July 13. The Optimist Store will focus on personal development, including topics like motivation and inspiration.

“I’ve always been into personal development, a way to help me through my issues. I’ve always studied that.” Now, she plans to share it with others.

Keep track of Gerstorff at www.kathygerstorff.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

Like Nancy Elliott on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @NancyElliott_HB, or call 640-4805.