Tuesday, April 14

I Got Nothin'...

So generally, I write these blog several days in advance, but I’m behind in everything this week already, so I’m here now…about 10 hours before it needs to be up. I sat down tonight to write and my mind was suddenly a blank slate. Seriously. Nothing. And I wasn't even waiting for perfection--I was just waiting for...anything...anything at all.

While I waited, called my friend Dee, mostly because I hadn’t talked to her in a couple of days, and told her I needed a topic for the Word Wranglers blog. She said, “I dunno…I’m a reader, not a writer.” 

So I asked Husband, “If you could ask an author anything in the world, what would you ask?” 

His response? “Are you getting rich?” “Is it glamorous?” “Have you met any stars?”

Cripes. Really?  No, no, and no. So he was helpful. (Not!)

Then I called my next-door neighbor here at the lake, my good pal, Harlene, who can always be depended upon to give me a great answer to any question, and put the same query to her. 

She said, “How do you do it?” and “Where do you get your ideas?” 

Ah, okay! Something I can sorta work with, thank you, Harlene! <rubs hands together in glee>

So…ummmm…how do I do it? <tapping nails on the edge of the laptop> How do I do it? Well, hell…I don’t know. I just do it. And sometimes (ahem…), I don’t do it. I think mostly, it’s that the people in my head get so noisy, I have to let them out.

And the second part, where do I get my ideas? Well, I think my book ideas always start with characters (you know those noisy people in my head) and usually with a conversation between two characters. And then a “what if…” What if this happily married woman who has a fantastic life suddenly becomes a widow? That’s a workable idea. Okay, but then what? Well, what if she discovers her dead husband had a secret life? Okay, so now we’re getting interesting. And what if, as she’s coping with the knowledge that her marriage, the last 30 years of her life wasn’t as perfect as she’d always believed, she meets a handsome younger man, who’s ready to show her a whole new kind of life? What then? 

There…see how that works? That was the beginning of Sex and the Widow Miles—Novel 2 in the Women of Willow Bay series, which by the way, is on sale for only 99 cents at an e-retailer near you. Oh, damn—shameless self-promotion—that’s what happens when you got…well…you know…nothin’. 

But as long as you’re here, tell me, “How do you do it?” “Where do you get your ideas?”


  1. LOL. I can't improve on "sometimes I don't"! And I don't get ideas. I so envy people who have tons of them. I just get a couple of people and eventually, FINALLY, they tell me where they want me to go. Good post for nothin', Nan!

    1. And when they talk to you, they do a fabulous job! Ideas may be overrated... Bises, baby!

  2. For me, the idea comes first. Except when they don't. For Bix, I heard his voice first and then I had to find a plot for him-might explain the eight rewrites and I still don't have it right...

    My current WIP is inspired by the song Hey There, Delilah by The Plain White Tees and the story behind the song.