Story Inspiration Sunday

I blog about inspiration both here and over at Book View Cafe. Feel free to comment either here or over there!

This week, I’m afraid, is again going to be about a different type of inspiration.

However, this week was also very different.

I hadn’t planned it this way. It was my choice.

This week turned out to be the last week I worked my day job.


Let me explain.

Story Inspiration Sunday

I blog about inspiration both here on my blog and over at Book View Cafe. Feel free to comment either here or there.


I’ve spent the last week on the Oregon Coast, at a writing workshop. It’s actually been more business than craft, as I’ve been attending the anthology workshop.

After listening to six different editors opinions on 40+ professionally written stories, I can tell you that this post is absolutely true. You could have five editors all say, “Loved this story. Would have bought it.” Then the editor with the checkbook, who could actually buy the story, say, “Nope. Didn’t like it. Doesn’t fit.”

One of the things that was also very interesting was hearing an editor say, “I don’t like X in my stories,” such as carnival stories, stories where children are endangered, stories with magical snowmen, etc. Which would prompt me, the writer, to think, “Okay, don’t send that type of story to that editor.”

Then the next story, that editor would say, “I don’t like X in my stories. This one was so well done I would buy it anyway.”

One of the other interesting things was hearing stories about editors who reject a story, and then, two-three years later, receiving an email that says, “I just can’t get that story out of my head, have you sold it? Can I have it?”

So again, I agree with this post. There is no perfect story. You are never going to write a story that is a guaranteed sale to a market. For that matter, even if you are invited to write in an anthology, there’s still not guarantee that the editor won’t reject the story and tell you to rewrite it or submit something else.

But beyond the networking that I’ve done here, and all the things I’ve learned, one of the reasons I come to these workshops is because these people are my people. This is my family. I adore these people, and despite the exhaustion, they’re still clever and fun.

And that’s the inspiration part of this post. (See? I knew I could get there.)

Story Inspiration Sunday


This week’s inspiration is a bit different. Okay, so most of these posts are a bit different. This one s a little bit more so.

I’ve been writing full time now for a few weeks. And by writing, I mean standing (or sitting) at my keyboard for most of the day making stuff up and writing the next novel.

I’m pleased with the progress: I’m a bit over 40,000 words into a 60,000 word novel. I achieved that in about eight days.

But how did I do that? I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have an outline. I had a few vague clues about what the novel would be about. Didn’t know where it was going. Didn’t know how it was going to end.

Story Inspiration Sunday

Since I’m on sabbatical for the day job, I’ve been trying to learn how to write full time.

I know that I’m a bit ahead of other writers just starting out, as I have worked at home for the day job for 13+ years. So the suddenly being home all the time hasn’t been a shock. I know how to be disciplined, so I can get stuff done during the day when there’s no one around.

However, writing full time is different than doing the day job. Though I’m mostly self-directed in the day job, the tasks are discrete.

Writing full time means: Writing. Then, more writing. And then, writing some more!


Story Inspiration Sunday

I blog about inspiration here as well as over at Book View Cafe. Feel free to comment either here or over there!


For the latest story that I had to write, I fell back to one of the classics of inspiration, at least, for me. That’s David Mamet’s formula:

1. Who wants what from whom?
2. What happens if he (she) doesn’t get it?
3. Why now?

I can’t go into any particulars for the story I just finished, not until after something happens with it, either it’s sold or I decide to bring it out myself.

However, I have written an entire novel following this format–Zydeco Queen and the Creole Fairy Courts.

Story Inspiration Sunday

I blog about inspiration both here and over at Book View Cafe. Feel free to comment either here or over there!


As y’all may or may not know, I’ve been traveling in New Zealand for the last three weeks.

One of the things I love about traveling is discovering how I’ve changed once I return–what fits, what doesn’t, what’s really important and what can just slide out of my life.

In terms of story inspiration, often, I write about characters with heightened senses. Travel helps me experience this.

Story Inspiration Sunday

I also blog about inspiration over at Book View Cafe. Feel free to comment either here or over there!

Between now and the end of February, I have six short story assignments rolling in, for a workshop that I’m taking.

I’ve written two short stories, each about 5000 words, in the last few days. I have one more to write. Then I’m traveling to New Zealand, and I won’t be writing (or blogging!) for a few weeks.

Last weekend I escaped to Canada with my sweetie, up to Victoria. We took the clipper from Seattle and got into Victoria about 10:30 AM.