Writing Inspiration Is Everywhere!

Maine Covered Bridge From Yesteryear

When I was eight years old, I knew already that I wanted to be a writer. I’d ride the school bus to my babysitter’s house after school and…write my novel. The name of my first novel was to be Apple Blossom. – It was a story about a horse. I still haven’t finished that novel by the way! Anyhow, even back then I was inspired by things around me – nature in particular.

My first completed story was written when I was only six years old. It was a hot summer day. My sister and I were playing in the yard near the trees when a snake hissed at us. Needless to say we became marathon runners and dashed inside to safety- where I wrote “The Cobra Queen”. I actually think the snake was a harmless garter snake, but the imagination of a child has no limit…

Growing up in Maine, there has been no shortfall of nature in which to inspire me. I love random photos. Like a feathery bird crossing the snow covered road. Or a babbling brook where two people may have fallen in love? A quaint church still standing in a town that has been hard hit by recession, the open water in the foreground. My favorites are old barns, weathered shacks, and historical things like railroad beds and factories.

Who Lived Here?

I love color and black and white. I love to wonder “what if” and imagine a story. These are some photos taken by my Maine friends that offer inspiration to me. In the winter I find I write stories with more feeling if I’m actually there, in the blizzard. In the fall, I love to write love stories.

(Thank you Kathy Manson Photography on Facebook, she has prints for sale, too).

Of course, my two favorite little people, Emily & Jack -my children, offer the most inspiration! But this blog story is dedicated to nature inspirations…sorry guys:)
My children- my best inspiration!

Emily & Jack, Fall 2011

Cherry Cheesecake – Free Valentine Day Short Story

I wrote this short story (1250 words) for a contest going on at http://thewritepractice.com/show-off-contest/. (Contest deadline is Feb.10 for those interested in submitting an entry with a Love them- for Valentine’s Day, of course.

My entry is available for a free read at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131273 , along with 3 other free reads. All the short stories were contest submissions.

I have recently begun to enter writing contests. The reason- because I’ve learned that peer reviews from other contestants and readers who frequent the sight- are priceless. Most are kind in their criticisms (Yes, it is possible to be kind while telling the author that they really need improvement!). I have received some insights that I would not have gotten otherwise. My writing has improved since I’ve added contest entries to my weekly work assignments. Of course I’m still plugging away on a longer novel (Hannah’s Storm) and my novella Molly Watkins Chronicles (steampunk fiction). Molly will be a series and I’m very excited about getting to know her better by writing about her- but that’s beside the point…

I wonder if anyone else has found that writing for contest entries has improved their writing? Please let me know…

P.S.- Yes, I actually won a contest recently over at Miss Snark’s Blog http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/2012/01/january-secret-agent-11.html , in case you were wondering:)

Molly Watkins Gets A “Face”

The cover art for Molly’s Soap Parlor (Book #1 of the Molly Watkins Chronicles) has arrived. (Thank you Derek Murphy!) It’s such an awesome feeling to see the character, of whom I’ve been creating and giving depth to for a while now, take on a “real” look. After all, Molly Watkins is a “real” person to me. I know her habits, such as her fetish with beech tree gum. I also know about her weaknesses, her likes and dislikes, and of who she has a major crush on.  But underneath all that other “stuff”, Molly has spunk and I’d really like to “hang out” with her some day.

If you’d like to read about Molly and her first adventure, Molly’s Soap Parlor, A Steampunk Novella, expect her to be available some time in  March, 2012.

Molly Watkins Chronicles Book #1

March, 2012 Debut

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