Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm here! It's Lenora :)

Last night, I saw on my calendar that today was my day to blog. Then I got involved in a chapter and finished that up and promptly slinked downstairs and fell into my chair (where I got bleary-eyed and decided to go to bed.) So I'm standing in the kitchen this morning, drinking coffee while I looked out over all my lovely saga palms that are now brown and dying from intensely cold temperatures and suddenly it hit me--Lenora, it's your day to blog! I don't usually move that fast in the morning, let me tell you. Even forgot to take my blood pressure medicine.

Now I'm here, writing away when a dear writer friend calls and we laugh and talk about being in the middle of a conversation and suddenly going blank because a plot point has just popped in out heads. That got me to wondering--what was the strangest place you ever came up with a story idea? It's usually in church for me, during a beautiful hymn. I can't tell you how many three books contracts I've gotten out of the words of a hymn. My "In the Garden" series is based on that beautiful hymn, of course. (Three books--set on an estate in South Louisiana.) This Sunday, I was sitting there listening to a guest speaker, thanking God for allowing me to finish the first draft of the latest work in progress and suddenly, I realized I needed to change the ending of the book. Something the speaker said prompted that. I grabbed paper and pen and jotted down some notes. My friends just smiled. (They know me so well.) Back to "In the Garden". Adding to the idea I got in church while singing that--a few weeks after that Sunday, we left early one morning to travel to Georgia to see relatives. There had been an ice storm in our area and I saw a convoy of tree service trucks heading back to Mississippi. They had come over to help out during our crisis. That gave me the idea for one of the heroes in that series. He would own a tree service company and he'd come to the estate to help cut back some trees after a big storm. And the heroine would have a phobia--she'd be deathly afraid of the dark. Why? Well, that was part of the fun.

So ... this is why we sometimes forget to blog, why we sometimes forget to take our medicine, feed the cat, cook the meals and wash the clothes. This is why we stare off into space at the oddest times and why even in church, we might do what I call the Scarlett O'Hara gasp (remember the scene where her mother is giving evening prayers??)and go blank. It's because a writer's brain is wired just a bit differently from "civilian" brains. We're always sniffing out stories. And that's just part of the fun of our jobs. So ... what was the strangest place you ever came up with an idea for a book??


  1. Sorry I have never came up with an idea for a book because I can't write, but I think a lot about the books I have read and it is usually while I am sitting here at night and my sweet hubby is watching news (yep he is a news attic) see I can't even spell. Anyway I think of the book that I have been reading and start telling him all about it, he is not interested as he hates to read, but I go on and tell him about all the charters and everything they are doing in the book, He looks at me but I know his ear is on the TV. Oh well we have been married 49 years come March and he knows me, I am a talker and I think everyone else is interested in the things I am.


  2. I came up with a character trait I want to use in a future story. I was tapping out an email to a dad who wanted his novel-writing daughter to meet me and I used a semicolon. A character I've yet to meet popped into my head with this observation: "I want a man who knows how to use a semicolon." Says a lot about her already.

  3. Edna, we love readers, too! And my husband's eyes glaze over when I'm telling him about a plot. He always wants to know if that can actually happen and I say "In my books, yes!"
    Kathleen, love that opening line.
    Go for it!

  4. My strangest place isn't all that strange, I would guess. I bet lots of writers do it: in the shower.

    Oh, and while driving. I get places and wonder how I got there. :)

  5. Missy, I've done the driving thing. Once I was on my way home and I was thinking about a story line and I missed my exit. I was headed for Baton Rouge!

  6. I to am a reader but I think this applies to over things we do in life. I know I got lots of ideas or sorted things out on my bike (push bike).
    Also in the shower or the middle of the night. I do alot of walking now (well some walking) and I tend to think on things then or work out how to do things like in the garden.
    My latest is a Goal for about 5 years time maybe a bit more. I want to go to Canada for about 8 months to work but ideas of what I could do or need to do to make it work come at funny times like (when I should be sleeping) Walking I actually have gone the wrong way cos of that. Yesterday I was riding and since the new huge roundabout I dont ride round it to scary. I turn of earlier but I was thinking on things about this goal I totally had zoned out till after I passed the turn off.

  7. Lenora,
    Some story ideas come while I'm driving. Long trips are good for plotting. Most of my story ideas come when I'm doing research for the story I'm writing at the time.
    I should never be left unattended in a library.

    It's hard to put that sliver of an idea aside until I'm finished with my current work in progress, but I have an idea file folder in my desk and they usually go there.

    So many stories, so little time.

  8. I get many of my ideas in the shower. At church, I get the faith element. :)


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