Sunday, July 25, 2021

Inspiration Time

Every author, at one time or another, gets asked the question of where the ideas for their stories come from. And most authors have a simple, generic answer that family, current events, or television shows are the inspiration. For me, most of my ideas come while I'm floating mindlessly in my health club's pool. I prop some floating devices under my arms and rotate my hips while I begin to think of my next book. 

Right now, I'm writing Christmas novellas for my ghostwriter. If I have to think of Christmas in July, I want to be lying in a bed of 85 degree salt water, suspended weightlessly while my thoughts drift.

Today, there was a gentleman in the pool near me, helping his two young daughters with their swimming. He was covered from head to toe with tattoos, which normally you'd think would belong on a surly, motorcycle-riding gunslinger of a guy, but the way he interacted with his girls was very sweet. He was young, good-looking, clean-shaven, and a perfect hero. Just covered in artwork. As I watched him playing with his daughters, and he watched to make sure they didn't get in my way, I thought about a hard-boiled hero with a heart of gold. One who thought Christmas was a useless holiday until he met a woman who could stand up to him and change his mind. 

Were tats even a thing in 1870? 

I need to do my research before I begin the story, but at least it's a grain of an idea. Or should I say a drop of an idea, since we were in the water?

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Knee Deep in a Snow Drift

We're halfway through summer now, and I must say, it's been one of the most weird seasons yet. 

I should be busy promoting my beachey book, Blame It On The Brontes,

which is one of my all-time faves, but instead, I'm trying to write two novellas about Christmas. 

Quite frankly, I'd rather be at the beach instead of knee deep in a snow drift. 

But speaking of drifting, my eyes keep wandering to the porch swing and away from my computer screen. I even volunteered to help a friend clean out her shed to avoid working on my story. I'm finding momentum hard to come by. 

What I need are some Christmasy ideas. Toss me a lifeline, will you? Any and all ideas will be gratefully accepted. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Coming Full Circle

 A few years ago, I left Ohio for the warmer climes. Problem was, while I'd sold my house up north, I hadn't yet found a place in the South. So, for a few months, I became a crasher. Mary and I moved in with my best friend and her husband, in Virginia. They graciously let us camp out with them for a couple months, and my friend and I made more than a few trips to North Carolina, searching for the right place. 

Now it's my friend's turn. It's time for them to live on one floor instead of constantly going up and down stairs. Fortunately, they've decided North Carolina is the place to be. But since their previous trips here have been few and far between, they need time to determine which part of the state is best suited to their needs. Will it be the mountains in the west or a beach community on the east? A big metropolitan city like Raleigh or something smaller and quaint? Hopefully, I'll be able to return the favor and let them camp out here while they're exploring. 

The first step in the process is to get their home in a sellable condition. Having bought and sold more than one house, I'm going to help in that regard. The hunt begins in earnest this weekend. 

And maybe I can get a story line out of it. 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Christmas In July

 My career as a writer has taken many twists and turns since I decided I wanted to fulfill a lifelong ambition and write a novel. Several years ago, I added ghostwriting to my resume. 

The gentleman I'm currently working for has asked for series books. My first idea was to write a trilogy, but he wanted four books. Who am I to argue with this? I get paid for writing one more book. I just wrapped up the fourth book and presented my next idea for a four-book series about a gentlemen's poker club, for which I got the go-ahead and began working up the concept for the four books. I wrote the outline for the first book and the first chapter and then came to a screeching halt on the project. 

Why, you ask? 

Because it's July, and any stories with a Christmas theme need to be done and ready for publication by no later than September. My client and I had collaborated on two Christmas stories last year, and he wanted a repeat. So, even though it's 90 degrees outside, I turned up the A/C and put on my Christmas hat.

I need to come up with a couple good solid seasonal ideas and get them done by August. I promised him two, and possibly one additional. I need to get to work. 

Then, and only then, can I get back to my poker game.