Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Have you ever had your next book pretty much planned out, the characters' names and idea of what's going to happen and even how it's all going to end when....middle of the night, a whole new idea shoves it right out of bed, onto the floor and then kicks it under the bed?

This is what happened to me, so my dear Alexander McLeod will have to wait for me a little longer as he sails from Scotland to the wilds of Nova Scotia. Instead I'm going on a road trip with Pamela and her Labrador Retriever as they adventure along the Alaska Highway. Pamela is of a certain age when many women start to think about having one more big adventure--if it's not too late. (It's never too late, is it?

Pamela doesn't think so and I can't wait to see how it all turns out in the end.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

It's early in the morning and for me, the best time for any creative type of writing. Once the day gets going and I have to think about appointments, meals and getting dressed--most days anyway--everything turns linear in my head and characters fall back into silence.Maybe I've been dreaming about a story or it's that half my brain doesn't rev up beyond idle until a cup of coffee is in the works. It's so peaceful at this time of day and there are no distractions to pull me out of a story.

Sleep deprivation: my cure for writer's block. Any other writerly early birds out digging for story worms in the early morning hours?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Driving and Creativity

A beautiful blue sky day here in southern Alberta, the kind of day that makes me want to get in the car and drive. For me, there's nothing more conducive to new story ideas than driving along a bare highway, destination hours ahead on the horizon. I don't know if it's the rhythmic hum of the tires or the music coming from the speakers, but plot problems, reluctant characters all float out of the mist to reveal themselves in a silent "Eureka!"

Trouble is, new story ideas start clamoring for their place along with the current work in progress. As a result of a lovely drive along the foothills the other day, I have another book on the go--a contemporary set along the Alaska Highway! Maybe the ancestor of my 18th century Alexander Mackenzie on her own adventure to parts unknown.

What have you found that works to fire up the creative side of your brain?

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Rowan tree in my yard is at its brightest these October days, the berries untouched until sometime in February when the yearly flock of Cedar Waxwings will swoop down and devour them in a few blurred minutes. By then I will be up to my neck in my next book--a historical set on the wild coast of Nova Scotia in the late 1700's.

Alexander James Mackenzie would have been quite familiar with the Rowan as he roamed the Highlands of Scotland as a young man. When he landed on the eastern shores of what would become Canada, ready to begin his new life far from home, perhaps the sight of a Rowan tree was a sign that all life is connected, that distance means nothing to the heart.

The Rowan has long been accepted as a symbol of protection.

Are there symbols in nature that you carry within?