New BLog OutI know this is an age-old question, but when you think about ideas, your mind opens up to unusual places. Sometimes we need to step away from the norm and head to the unknown. This is the unfamiliar territory we seldom visit.

Take a walk down streets you haven’t walked for a long time. Observe the shapes of  homes, with porches or without, toys in the year, or a perfect lawn job with explicit edging. You see an old car in the driveway or a new car parked in the open garage. Can you take a guess at the family living there? Your imagination is tweaked a little and a story begins to form in your mind.

You hear a song on the radio, I-Pod, or music flowing from your television. What is it that draws you to this particular song? A past love, a first dance, or a party you wished you’d never attended. Do not pull the plug. Do not turn off the sound. Instead, listen and feel your stomach tighten into knots or your heartbeats quicken. Keep these feeling close. You might be on the verge of a new romance story. You could also be on the edge of wanting to run to a safer place. This sounds like suspense.

Take a trip, no not to a coffee shop, but to a bus station, a metro train station, or an airport. Sit like you are waiting for the next ride out or for someone. Watch. Observe. Snap a few pics with your cell phone to give you some great reminders. Any of these places will make your senses sharper, your mind more active, and the ideas will be full of flavor. Let your imagination run wild as you see travelers get on or get off a bus, train , or walk in a crowded airport looking for someone.

The next time a Carnival or Circus comes around, make an effort to go. How long has it been since you walked through a FUN HOUSE? Feel the excitement from your childhood along with the fright. Do not cover your screams.

See your ideas come from different parts of life and bring new energy to your projects.




Great ImageYes, I know this should be the final information on A Simple Critique Process, and it is coming. Instead, with all the holiday activities, a brand new year starting, I wanted us a chance to get away from the resolutions lists, the sluggishness of our writing process  and add a kick to our creativity.

This is simple and fun. Of course you may have to get out of your chair, your home, but you will enjoy a small scavenger hunt. What better way to get the creative juices flowing; the possibilities of the unknown.

Think SHOE. Yes, you read this right — shoe. I want you to go to several shoe stores: a sports shoe store, a teenage shoe store, a shoe store in one of the ‘best’ stores, and a thrift store or a Goodwill location. Strange? Of course, but everything will fall into place. Be sure you have your cell camera ready or a sketch pad and a notebook is a definite.

Look at all of the shoes in ways that interest you. Some of these are new and some have been worn. In each store, pick one shoe that “speaks” to you. Take a snap shot, draw a picture, or make notes. Nothing more, at this time.

After you complete all the stores on your list and you have one shoe from each store, go home. Put all of this information away for the night, if you can. If not, listen to what each shoe is saying to you especially the worn shoe.

When you get up the next day, see what your inner child is relating to you. Look again at all the information you have compiled, and then let your creative side go to work. DO NOT censor anything from your mind to your keyboard.  Study each each shoe you picked from the new stores. Where do you want this shoe to take you? Who is beside you when you walk in this new shoe? Are you in the tennis shoe at the gym next to the big hunk? Or are you with a group of vibrant young ladies in 5 inch heels? With whom do you want to walk? Then go to the shoe from the Goodwill Store or a Thrift shop. Look carefully at the shoe, the color, the texture, the scuff marks and start your story. Where has this shoe been? Who wore this shoe? Why was this shoe worn and for What? When was this shoe last worn?

Now you have a story brewing. Use your creativity to let this shoe tell you its story. Spark you creativity and your writing. Use all the emotions you can release. Get your senses working overtime. Write and write and write.

Give 2013 your best through writing. I’d love to hear or read your stories on “Where has this shoe traveled?” Get outside the box for 2013. Create wherever you are. Unleash the creator inside you and harness the censor.

Happy New Year and Great Writing.