1. A Dear Johnnie letter. When the creativity is over, it's time to tell it goodbye. So start an email to your dearest friend, telling her what the outline of the story is, what you've been writing, and where you've gotten stuck. The answer may pop into your head as you write about the problem. Then delete!
2. Too tired to conspire. Native Americans supposedly sometimes stayed up well past their bedtimes to let their minds roam and have answers to their questions. When we stay awake well into the night, and become too tired to really think, our brains can go on outrageous rambles. While this is not for everyone...perhaps a bit of it might work for your plotting.
3. Fifteen minutes on a treadmill. Don't overdo it. Movement helps creativity. See if it works for you. But again, take it easy. You can do too much of a good thing. I suppose if you added 2. and 3. together, you could get to bed earlier.
4. The Green Eggs Theory. Write at the park, in a car, at the library, in the yard. Anywhere there is an outlet or your batteries work...just leave your usual space and find somewhere new. If it's at the library, you will be telling your brain to get busy. You didn't leave the house just to waste a few hours staring at a keyboard.
5. Directionally Challenged Creativity. Go the opposite direction in your story. If you were planning for a hero to kill the bad guy...have him save the bad guy's life. At least first. Then...whatever...
6. (An extra one in case you really don't like one of the above.) What the Dickens? A mirror. Put a mirror in your workspace as Charles Dickens did. Then you can move your hand, wave and arm, and you'll have those motions played out in front of you to describe.
I liked the horses. I really did. They did seem like art to me. Driftwood art at first, but still fascinating. That was before I knew they were bronze. Deborah Butterfield is an artist, who if I were to guess, loves horses.
I wouldn't have known they weren't wooden if I hadn't been told. I looked closer, and could hardly believe what I saw.
The artist assembles the horses out of tree limbs, then takes the horses apart and casts the wood in bronze and reassembles.
The past is set in stone with the only changeable part being our perception of it—but could the future be the same way?
Anna Kittrell has a new psychological thriller, The Commandment and her imagination has taken a perceptive look into the future’s possibilities, and the traps yet-to-be-born generations could create.
Imagine a seven year old having an ankle monitor. I'd never thought of that...
“It’s late September, not the middle of July,” Briar’s mother said, blotting her forehead as she clipped down the walkway toward the car. “Seems Mother Nature didn’t get the memo.”
“Can I drive?” Briar jogged to the driver’s side.
“We’ve already discussed this. You’re not allowed behind the wheel until that thing comes off your leg.” Her mother nodded toward the clunky black box strapped around Briar’s ankle.
The infamous ankle monitor—aka life destroyer. Briar’s electronic prison guard since age seven.
“But that’s so ridiculous. What am I going to do, pick up a bunch of other unlevels and start a crusade? Come on, please? Just to the clinic. They’ll never know.”
“Don’t argue, just get in.” She aimed the key fob at the car.
“You know, Mom, if you had a cuffphone, like the rest of the population, you wouldn’t need that old fob. The car would sense you coming and the door would pop open on its own.”
Briar drudged around to the passenger side and climbed in, the headachy sweet scent of floral air freshener hitting her between the eyes.
Her mom slid behind the wheel and clicked her seatbelt. “Buckle up,” she said, double-glancing at her daughter. “What on earth is that on your head?”
“You noticed?” Briar pulled the seatbelt over her shoulder and snapped it, catching a section of long blue hair in the clasp. “I was chatting with Mouse online, trying to cheer him up.” She plucked the wig from her head, freed the strands from the buckle, and pushed the wig into her bag, causing her furry keychain to fall out onto her lap.
“He was sad about losing his dad.”
The little boy’s face had crumpled as he’d told her he wanted his dad back. She’d known how to make him feel better but had swallowed the comforting Bible verse on her tongue—one of many her grandmother had taught her as a child—and put on the silly wig instead. Blue hair was acceptable. Reciting scripture would get her arrested. Sharing Christian faith was illegal by law of The Commandment. The crime carried an even stiffer penalty than skipping a SAP injection or disabling a fleshcard.
Not that either of those things meant anything to Briar. Her body repeatedly rejected the Serum to Accelerate Progressivism, meaning she had no need for the under-the-skin device that kept track of SAP levels in the brain. Her body’s intolerance of SAP was the reason she couldn’t take a walk around the neighborhood, or drive—or do anything that made life worth living.
You must have emotion in your romance novel. The more the better. Or so I though.
When writing Saying I Do to the Scoundrel, I put a bucket-full of emotion into one scene and added a sprinkle more just because I had tapped into something I could put a lot of heart into—the loss of someone in your family that you dearly loved.
Then one of the first readers of the manuscript responded with a request to take out the emotion. I wasn’t convinced, but I toned it down a bit.
I continued to go forward on the story, and after a break, I read it one last time. Then the emotion of the loss I’d written about hit me. I felt the pain. Delete. Delete. Delete.
Never again do I intend to write so intensely about the true loss of someone cared deeply about. Romance is about life, hope, love and happily ever afters…in my fictional world. I plan to keep it that way.
The true romantic food is an omelette.
I’d discovered this by reading the early romance novels where I noticed the governess would whip up the most blissful omelette. Before long, the hero would be at her feet.
I’d never had a true reason to perfect the omelette, or even to decide on whether to spell the word with the French or English version, but when I married, I knew it was time to learn to cook this perfect dish. I just needed the right omelette recipe because mine were lacking. They tasted like scrambled eggs no matter how many additions I whipped into them.
Then I realized, the magical recipe for this perfectly enchanting food had been secreted away by the governesses.
As a nod to the wonderful books I’ve read about omelettes, I added a reference to those blissful dishes in Saying I Do To The Scoundrel, and sadly, Katherine never learned the governess' recipe either.
Inside, the smell of wood smoke mixed with the scent of food. Brandt stood with his back to her. He had hung a pot over the stove and was now putting dollops of dough on to the lid top to cook.
‘Would probably be too much for me to expect you to cook something even as simple as an omelette…’
She raised her brows in question.
‘An omelette. My father travelled near Bessières once and when he returned he insisted we have omelettes. Eggs stirred about. Cheese in it. Very tasty. I discovered I had to show the women at the tavern how to make them if I wanted one to my taste.’
‘I like my eggs normally prepared.’
‘And how might that be?’
‘By Cook. And in biscuits and cakes and tarts and things like that.’
‘I very much want an omelette.’
‘That is probably beyond my experience.’
He leaned forward, blinked slowly and met her eyes. ‘I thought so.’
I wanted a pet rabbit. But I didn't want to feed or take care of it. Then, for a few months, a wild rabbit decided he'd be my buddy. He wasn't afraid of me and would let me get a few feet away to take his photo, and I started calling him Bunners.
He didn't understand the concept of staying away from the garden fence.
He pretty much did as he pleased, but I usually found him near the garden.
Bunners was in the area as the green bean plants methodically disappeared. And not haphazardly. The disappearance started at one end of the row and plants vanished in an orderly fashion.
My rabbit didn't see a thing.
Imagine, pets that feed themselves. And garden produce that magically keeps from getting overabundant. Be careful what you wish for, but if it shows up in the form of a bunny, don't complain.
I wanted to write a story about a man who truly loved his wife. Truly loved her, and missed her so terribly after she died that he couldn't consider courting anyone else.
And really, my hero Brandt never courts Katherine. He marries her. (After she hires him to kidnap her.)
Once someone asked me about my dating life with my husband.
I said, "We didn't really date. We just got married."
Of course we'd known each other for longer than most couples know each other. I don't remember meeting him, but I remember seeing him when I was in first grade, and how he made an effort to tell me goodbye right before he got off the school bus. So you could say we had a twelve year relationship before we were married, with ups and downs, and it took us awhile to finally commit.
I said I Do to my Sweetheart and am wishing him a very Happy Anniversary!
In the latter half of 1500, Lavinia Fontana stepped onto the art scene in Italy.
At an early age, Lavinia Fontana's father taught her to paint. She married another art student of her father's, and then had 11 children and eventually became a caregiver for her elderly mother....
Meanwhile, her husband worked alongside her in a supportive capacity so she could continue her art. Many of the elite of her day, recognized her skill. Pope Gregory XIII became her patron. A portrait medal was made of her before her death, and it shows a woman sitting at her easel, and her hair is gloriously unkempt.
Lavinia Fontana was born in the mid-1500's and left behind a legacy of her work, and because of the portraits she painted of others, we have a more authentic record of the past. I suspect there have been many women throughout history who made great strides in their life while not placing a large priority on hair styling.
Metal Image to view the hair:
Her portraits are also worthy of view if you do a search of Lavinia.
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