Inspiration – this guy right here!


How do you find inspiration? Where does it come from?

When I saw this guy, right here, I stopped in my tracks. And so did he!  I grabbed the picture and tried to understand his expression. Was he as surprised as I was? And then I saw the three babies dart from the bushes.  Ahh–he was in Dad mode and needed to get his kids across the road safely!  I moved further away and watched them flee back into the woods. No time for another picture!

As I went into the house, I thought about his life –how he felt about the world. How would he protect his family? Or get them back into hiding? Would food be scarce with the winter coming?  I tried to create the feelings in my head. A lot of times, that inspires how I create a scene or emotion in one of my stories.

What inspires you?



Signs of Spring…Signs of Hope


Happy First Day of Spring! The air is cold but smells of spring….smells of hope.

The snow still covers the ground in some parts of the Northeast, but the tippy top of the yellow bulbs in our yard are emerging through the soil! The small pink buds on the maple trees are bursting too. Even the sun is preparing, shifting higher, as if readying itself for all the summer gardens it must feed.

These new inklings make me want to do the things I love. Reading a book under the tree. Feeling the rush of the wind through the open windows. Watching the late night stars brighten against the sky.

All signs are getting ready for the beauty of spring. Are you?

How Do I Love Thee?

Love is in the air today.  This beautiful sonnet “How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning was written in 1845 during her courtship with writer Robert Browning. Enjoy and celebrate all the love in your life! Happy Valentine’s Day!


How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

A Thousand Wishes for You


Happy New Year!

At the bottom of my Christmas stocking, I found a thousand wishes. Not in the true sense of Aladdin type wishes, but rather a bottle of bubble bath with the name A Thousand Wishes. The scent reminded me of a garden of grapefruits mingled with bubble gum.

But it was the name that grabbed hold of me and got me thinking.

A Thousand Wishes.

What if each of us made a thousand wishes? One thousand REAL wishes for anything.  Health. Love. Peace. Warmth. And then we made them come true by small acts of kindness. Maybe with a smile or asking someone how they are?  Just think of the magnitude of adding all this love into the world!

My Wishes for You

I wish you health.

I wish you love in your family.

I wish you peace in your mind and heart.

I wish you warmth and food and shelter.

I wish you the courage to weather the storms.

I wish you the healing power of nature, whether land or sea or mountain or desert.

I wish you a book you can’t put down.

And I wish you happiness!


Happy  New Year 2017.

Follow your dreams and they’ll follow you back! 





Got milk? Have I got a story idea for you!

milk2Where do stories come from? How do you know what to write?

From the time I started writing stories as a teen, I’ve always thought of the story itself as a milk carton. When I start writing for the day, the carton is brimming with characters and scenes. As my ideas leap onto the page, the carton slowly empties. Instinctively, when it feels like there is nothing left in the carton, usually around 4 to 5 pages in, I’m done writing. Anything more than this feels like I’m pulling and pulling on a fishing line, but not knowing the hook is stuck to the bottom of the boat!

But let’s back up for a second. Somehow story ideas have to fill this carton before writing.  It’s different for many writers, but below are a few strategies that work for me—and may help you!

Read, read, read…and people watch!

Most of the time, my ideas evolve from reading news stories or shopping!  Something interests me enough to ask the “What if…” question. From there, I add on questions. What if a corporate executive embezzled money from her own family? What if her husband faked his death ten years earlier?  What if she stole that purse and blamed her daughter?

As each possibility is added, the story builds. I also use Shirley Jump’s Rule of Six technique to explore the WHY behind the characters motivations/goals to add more emotion and conflict. Check out Shirley’s classes at Margie Lawson’s Writing Academy.

Your dreams are stories … use them!

I get many ideas from dreams!  Sounds like Twilight Zone material, right?

For example, about a month ago, a bad dream startled me awake about 3 a.m. It was about a camp in Pennsylvania, the kind of dream that leaves you sweating and unable to leave the bed to get a glass of water. Somehow, I summoned the courage and faced the darkness. When I finally fell back to sleep, the dream continued to a woman being drowned in the lake. And the bad guy was still after me!

How could that be?

In the morning, I was in the twilight area of waking when the dream finally, finally ended. And boom, just like that, something rocketed into my brain. My eyes flew open. It was as if all that night, the story wouldn’t let me go until I knew the ending. It wasn’t about the camp, or the bad guy chasing me, or even the drowning in the lake that was important.

It was about how the dream ended.

The ending would be my next novel.

I couldn’t talk, eat breakfast, or even have coffee (GASP!) until all this was put down in bare bones summary. This story, still untitled, became the novel I’m writing for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

Ideas can come from anywhere! So, how do you get yours?