Tuesday, January 3, 2012

In With the New

Happy 2012!  I hope you had a wondrous holiday and that this new year brings you new dreams and inspirations! 

First of all, an update on the health front.  On Friday I had an MRI of my right shoulder.  It showed a small tendon tear, some swelling, and a bone bruise.  Bone bruise?  How did I do that?  I'm clumsy, but I'm sure I would remember hitting something hard enough to bruise the bone. 

The best I can figure is that the daily wear and tear of caring for Grace is finally showing up.  After all, it's not like she has stopped growing.  She's over 4 feet tall now and more than 50 pounds.  Almost half my size.  Sigh.  More fun in the life of parenting a special needs child.  Oh well, the good far outweighs the bad. 

I'm seeing an ortho doctor on Thursday, but luckily it seems like I should be able to get by with some physical therapy and NO SURGERY!!  YAY!!!  I've had enough of those.  The arm still hurts, but it's slowly improving.

Now, on to the writing content of today's post!  Since handing off one round of edits to my editor, I've needed something to keep me occupied.  What better way to keep busy (and to keep from continually messing with the current novel!) than start writing a new book? 

Like most writers, I accumulate ideas like dust bunnies accumulate under my sofa, bed, table...well, you get the picture.  I keep a Word file where I jot down new book ideas as they pop into my head.  So when it was time to start working on a new book, I opened up my file and looked over my notes, finally choosing the one that inspires me the most. 

I wish I could say my file is efficiently organized with headings and outlines under each thought, but it's not.  It's more a rambling mess of sentence fragments and half-developed ideas or images.   This time, I've combined two images (and one character) that seem to fit together.  Not in any obvious way, but in the way they feel.  Not very precise is it?  Well, welcome to my inner self.  I'm not organized or precise either. 

As I'm starting this new book, I'm thinking about the feel or tone I want it to have.  Think Edward Scissorhands meets The Yellow Wallpaper.  In my mind it's something strangely beautiful.  And a little bit...off.  I have a few mental images and a main character.  Possibly a ghost.  And a strange house.  I also know I want to write this one in first person, probably with a single narrator. 

That's it.  No plot.  No Inciting Incident.  Just fragmented images and a feeling.  But this is how I write.  I gravitate toward images that inspire me (I often try to link seemingly disparate images) and build a world around them.  The image can be a setting, a person, sometimes a color, it doesn't really matter what the image is, only that for some strange reason, it moves me. 

This isn't how everyone works.  This is only what works for me.  I'm not suggesting you write this way, but I would challenge you to think about what inspires you.  Is there an image or song or feeling that you're fascinated by?  If so, why not try meditating on it for a bit.  Who knows, something wonderful could come from it. 

My question for you is, what inspires you? 


  1. Wow - you had me at Edward Scissorhands meets The Yellow Wallpaper!
    I get inspiration from a collision of unrelated ideas. I'm definitely an artist, right brain kind of person, my sister is medical/left brain. But I read a lot on medicine and science, put it into my 'fantastical' filter and run with it. That's how, on my new wip, I've got a girl in a coma and a trio of sarcastic mermaids. Good luck with the new book!

  2. Me too on the right brain stuff--although you probably figured that out already!

    I'm loving your new WIP! Coma girl and sarcastic mermaids? Sign me up!

  3. Cool -- someone whose process is like mine! I'm not the only writer who starts with random images and a feeling! LOL, very nice to meet you. :)

    Happy writing....

  4. Nope, you're not alone! Sometimes It feels like trying to touch a cloud. Maybe we should form a club...