I is for inheriting inspiration

April 10, 2014

For the A to Z challenge this year, I’m sharing science fiction and fantasy story ideas…

Somebody inherits inspiration. Who’s the heir? A down-to-earth stay at home mother, whose brilliant writer father just passed away.

What does she do with the inspiration? Maybe she starts painting, or composing songs on the piano.

If you’re interested enough to pick this up and write your own version, feel free; ideas are cheap. And let me know! I’ll be keeping the notions vague enough that lots of different stories might be written from them.

Thanks for visiting!

Advertisements

Generating creative magic

January 14, 2014

So, I’ve been working for a while at the Storywonk Making Magic class. It’s taken me a little while to get into the magic groove, actually, (odd since I’m such a fantasy fan,) but there’s some great stuff in the course. I totally recommend it, especially for the encouraging tips Lani has about different ways to go out and hunt your magic; activities to help you get in touch with your muse, and sort out the inspiration you need for this particular book.

The first big exercise was the soundtrack. I love using music to fuel my inspiration, and Lani had some good tips for how to pick a good soundtrack, and avoiding the dangers of using something with too many memories that don’t really fit the book. On the other hand, I found I had some problems with her approach of going out and finding brand new music, because it takes me too long to figure out how I feel about a new song. So for my ‘Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale’ soundtrack, I ended up going through the ‘mid-tier’ of my music collection, considering a bunch of songs that I kinda liked but hadn’t rated with high numbers of stars. A few B-list songs snuck in there, mostly because I couldn’t shake the fact that they’d shown me something important about my characters, and I had to work for a few days cutting the list down to a length that seemed reasonable. Here’s the final soundtrack, more or less in the order of priority I was using to axe the last few stragglers:

  • Love Is My Witness, by Amanda Marshall
  • Clueless, by Billy Gilman
  • If My Life Was a Movie, by Steve Fox
  • That Was Us, by Alexz Johnson
  • Clocks, by Coldplay
  • Not That Different, by Collin Raye
  • Variations 1-4, by Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • More Love, by the Dixie Chicks
  • Snow Globe, by Chely Wright
  • Benefit of Doubt, by Chris Cummings
  • I Just Came Back From a War, by Darryl Worley
  • Waiting For Angels, by the Ennis Sisters
  • Haunted (Acoustic version) by Taylor Swift
  • Life For Rent, by Dido
  • I Wonder, by Aaron Pritchett
  • St John’s Waltz, by Ron Hynes
  • Blown Away, by Carrie Underwood
  • Summertown Road, by Brad Johner
  • Must To Be Free, by The Watchmen
  • Reasons Why, by Nickel Creek

Read the rest of this entry »


IWSG – Chase dreams and you just might catch one!

June 5, 2013

It’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group time again, and I feel like I don’t have any new insecurities to bring to the table. Sure, I’m still nervous about leaving for Odyssey in just a few days, but I think I covered that pretty well last month.

But I’ve still got plenty of excitement and inspiration to share, I think. And it’s occurred to me that a lot of writers from all over the world applied for this. If I looked strictly at the numbers, I might have thought that it wasn’t worth the effort to put together my application and mail it off. I certainly wasn’t feeling too hot about my chances after three other workshops rejected me in March.

Still, I got in! That’s made me think about other things that I thought I wasn’t ready to try for yet. I’ve submitted some stories to magazines, but I gave it up after getting a half-dozen rejections or so. Maybe I should be more like Elizabeth, pushing the race points month after month, looking for new places where I can submit my writing, and I can build up a few nice little publication credits. And there are other dreams that I’ve let slip away, that I’m still scared of typing into this blog where everyone can see them.

But I’m not going to let them stay one step ahead of me forever. Those dreams can still run, but sooner or later, I’ll give them the best chase I can manage. (Hmm, considering how lousy my knees are, maybe I’ll need some sort of hovercraft to hunt my dreams in.)


Surprising news about my Muse!

May 15, 2013

Over the weekend, I started working on How to Think Sideways lesson three, which involves a really cool brainstorming exercise, “Calling down Lightning”, and talks a lot about getting to know your muse better. The brainstorming went really well; I came up with two good ideas over a few waking hours and one night of sleep on the weekend, and I think I’ve got another today that I’m going to start this evening for a short fiction contest.

But I was definitely startled by some of the things I learned about my muse. For one thing, I found out that it wants to be able to communicate by talking to me out loud. I’ve suggested a few ground rules on that so that I don’t blurt out a story idea in a situation where it would be awkward to explain what I was blathering on about, but in general I liked the concept.

I was wondering about a picture for my muse too, and at first I didn’t come up with anything but the old standby I’ve told you about before, and I got the sense that my muse wasn’t really wild about looking like Liz Parker, but didn’t suggest anything different over the weekend. At some point yesterday or the day before, I walked into the living room, noticed some of my stuffed animals sitting on the stereo, and idly remarked, “Maybe some of you guys  could be the face of my muse.”

DSCF8068 (Small)

To which Ember, the golden owl with the smart black bow tie, shot back, (with my voice,) “Who says that isn’t what we’ve been all along?”

That really got me thinking. I know that a lot of people, writers or no, might think of having stuffed animals around, talking to them, and having them talk back, as something childish that should be stopped before you enter your teen years. My mother and I definitely wouldn’t agree with that sentiment. She has some beloved teddy bears of her own, and while I don’t know how much she talks to them while I’m not around, she usually doesn’t mind chatting with them if I do.

We even have two small stuffed bears who have become a package deal; Almond was mine and Praline Mom’s, but now they shuffle back and forth between our homes, seldom splitting up. They look fairly similar, maybe six inches long or so with brownish coats, but lying on their bellies in a sortuv polar-bear-like pose. And there have been a few moments when I wonder if Almond and Praline are ship-teasing us, dropping hints that their relationship is a teddy bear romance and not just a close friendship, but never admitting anything straight out. 🙂

I never really thought of stuffed animals in terms of my muse or my inspiration before, but considering the fact that my muse wanted to speak to me out loud, and that since I was little I’ve been speaking for teddy bears and other stuffed animals with my own voice, there’s probably a deep connection there. And big thanks to my parents, for never telling me that that spark of imagination, that suspension of disbelief, that can give a teddy bear or stuffed cat a personality of its own is something I have to give up in order to grow up. I’m sure that spending all this time with them has helped me keep my creative edge in ways that I never guessed.


The fallacy of ‘If I only had time to write…’

September 21, 2011

I really should know better than to fall for this one.

But it’s so tempting – you see so much of your days taken up by going to work, routine chores – or conventions in distant places, whatever – and still you manage to get a little writing done. So the idea’s obviously going to occur to you at some point: “If I only had a few days with nothing to worry about but writing, how much could I get done?”

I’m off work this week without any impressive travel plans, and I’ve managed to get some things from my to-do list crossed off, including critiques, finishing up a revision, and catching up with the Campaign. I’ve even gotten a new chapter finished on a crossover fanfic that I’ve been wanting to tie up.

But I still feel like I’m going to fall short of the targets that I’d hoped for stay-cation productivity. And that’s mostly because of the obvious reason that time to write is not enough. You need to have mental energy to draw on, and inspiration, and focus. After this summer, I didn’t really realize how low my reserves were getting, and doing other things to recharge them is much better than pushing too hard.

Like Aesop’s tortoise, I’ll get there in the end – wherever it is that I’m heading.

And thank you very much to Brinda Berry for the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. 🙂


Blogosphere spotlight – Angeline

August 8, 2011

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a spotlight on another blogger, so here’s Angeline Trevena.

I found Angeline’s blog because she did the Novel Films blogfest last week, but she’s also got some great posts about her passion for Camp Nanowrimo, blogfesting for inspiration, an interview about spec fiction and some funny stuff about the paradoxes of using social websites as a writer. So go check out her site!


%d bloggers like this: