Tag Archives: inspiration

Finding Inspiration in the Oddest Places: The SFR Brigade Midsummer Blog Hop

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My five-year old guilted me into stepping away from my computer when I took him to a playground the other day.  Not another kid in sight, I was enlisted to play.  Damn.  And I had editing to do, too.  But he told me to hurry up and hop on his ship before the hot lava got me, and I had no choice but to leap onto a ladder.  I was already warming up to this game as I asked, “Ship?  Is it a space ship?”

“Yeah!” he answered, sensing my weakness and striking the killing blow without a blink.  That’s my boy. He’s also great at calling me his “sweet, beautiful mama,” when he wants something.  Totally works, even though I see through him, the little scoundrel.  Anyway, he launched into how we were on an inhospitable planet—okay, not those exact words—but he describes the lava, which goes from the boiling hot to the freezing cold variety after I ask which planet we’re on, and he says Pluto. 

Now, the kid knows Pluto’s damn cold. He’s also well aware that it isn’t considered a planet now.  But, like his mother, he refuses to give credence to whomever decided to revoke its planetary status.  It’s BS, we tell ya! Our Pluto planet will kick your unremarkable Kuiper Belt object‘s atmosphere any day of its 90,720-day year!

Anyway, we high-tailed-it off Pluto and blasted to a new planet where we put on our imaginary space gear before heading off to explore its primary-colored landscape and vaguely familiar rubbery terrain.  We were sent running back to the ship when a killer storm whipped up in the form of deadly acid rain.  And just for the record, I’m totally using that in my next sci-fi book. I just need to figure out the logistics, but the boy’s got some solid gold ideas!

What could have been a lackluster editing session while the kid went up and down the slide a few times between bouts of whining about being bored, became a role-playing, brainstorming session, complete with quality time with the youngest.  He has since suckered me into our space game on a number of occasions.  Not too long ago, I made him drive me to Saturn where I planted dill. A Shnozzle Bozzle, who resembled his older sister, attacked us, but eventually we befriended the odd creature and took it back to Earth with us. 

Odds are, the Shnozzle Bozzle won’t make it into my next book. Well, maybe a horror short where its introduction to Earth results in massive casualties to the indigenous species. But my point is that we need to be receptive to inspiration.  We can’t tune out the world and hide in our little writing caves hoping to come up with something extraordinary—lightning can’t strike us there!  

Get out.  Explore.  Have some fun, because living is the best way to get your brain chewing on the possibilities.

And if you hit a road block, find a five-year old.  They can help you remember what imagination is all about.  If nothing else, it will probably be fun!

The Sci-fi Romance Brigade is hosting a fantastic blog hop with kick-ass prizes!

1st Prize – $150 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner’s choice) and an
ebook bundle (currently Ghost in the Machine, Bayne, Recast Book
1:Wither, Recast Book 2:Clash, Alien Adoration, Switched, Reckless
Rescue, Wreck of the Nebula Dream, Keir, Terms & Conditions Apply, The
Key, Marya, The Iron Admiral, Sasha’s Calling, Trouble at the Hotel
Baba Ghanoush, Winter in Paradise, Once Upon a Time in Space, the
Telomere trilogy, Winter Fusion, Blue Nebula, Demential, Wytchfire,
Maven, Fires of Justice, Interface, Girl under Glass, and Breakout.
Bonus books – Ghost Planet, The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy and
Deception, The Plan, Starburst, Stark Pleasure, and Games of Command.)

2nd Prize – $50 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner’s choice)

3rd Prizes – four $25 Amazon or B&N gift cards (given to separate
winners and their choice)

Nice, right?  Here’s the link to throw your name in the ring, and international winners are welcome, by the way.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to check out all of our blogger’s posts and enter to win plenty of individual giveaways as well!


Drano for Your Braino: 10 Ways to Unclog Your Writer’s Block

1.     Go to bed.  I find this to be the easiest way to get ideas.  Drift off to that purgatory between sleep and wakefulness.  Think about your characters, your plot, or your problem that can’t be solved during the daylight hours no matter how hard you try (or don’t try, I think that is my problem). 

Inevitably, ideas will start to come to you just when you want to fall asleep.  This is where the little notebook and pen on your bedside stand come in mighty handy.  You will probably be wide awake after you get your good idea.  You may even have to go fire up your computer again.

2.     People watch.  It’s a great way to work on you characterization.  Is that male lead just not fleshing out believably? 

Go to Walmart and take in the sights.  If you’re looking for some character flaws, the mom whose kid knocks over a jar of pickles and she just wheels off without telling anyone could spark an idea.  The guy trying on ladies hats when he thinks no one is looking seems like a fun person.  The anorexic/bulimic teenager wolfing down Ho Hos behind a clothes rack before she runs to the bathroom to vomit them up is intriguing.  Look around you; the freaks abound and they are fun to play with.

3.     Read a book.  I’m not saying rip it off, I’m just saying that a break from the head-pounding might give your wee little brain a chance to chill out, start firing off on some different neural passages than the tried and true, beaten down ones you’ve been stomping away at. 

4.     Vacation!  Sit on a beach with your notebook.  If that doesn’t grease the idea skids, I don’t know what will.  Can’t get away at the moment?  Hang up your hammock and take a ten minute swing.  Draw a bath and soak for a few.  Stick a little umbrella in your margarita.

5.     Have a few of those margaritas.  Ideas will pop up like dandelions.  Not all will be viable when the high wears off, but some might be saved for future use.

6.     Watch a movie.  That’s all.

7.     Stuck in a rut?  Think of something really nasty-mean to do to your character(s).  See what they do when they’re bit by a venomous scorpion.  Have them catch their spouse cheating.  They’re out of Lucky Charms and it’s breakfast time!!!!!  Do they go on a killing rampage or just go to the store?  It is a true test of character to let them react to a situation.

8.     Eat chocolate.  It’s sure fire.  Or maybe just delicious.

9.     Exercise.  You need to after all of the chocolate and alcohol anyway.  Go for a walk, a run, a yoga video.  Best to be done alone, otherwise you’re just gossiping with your girlfriend or listening to your four-year old whine about how long it is taking you to do your workout and how he needs more fruit snacks.

10.    Listen to music!  This is my favorite way to be inspired.  I have a soundtrack for just about every piece of writing I do.  Sometimes my story is born of a song.  Sometimes I think of the perfect music to go with a particular character or plot line as I go.  Playing those songs inevitably gets me in the mood to build on that world or story line. 

Try it.  Better yet, try it with that margarita while swinging on your hammock.  Take a box of Ho Hos and your little notebook and you’ll be brainstorming in no time. 

              If not, at least it will still be a good time.

 


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