Mood and Ideas

The theory is that we introduce ourselves today and then take turns posting each day.  Theory and actuality tend to have a wide divide, but let the experiment begin!

I’m Patricia Rice, and I managed to be published in full-length historicals before I wrote my first Regencies, so you realize right up front I tend to do things backwards.  And inside-out.  And in circles, whenever possible. Mary Jo is the linear personality.  I’m just screwed up.  And Jo is our educator.  (loved the post on Canadian holidays, Jo!) We all have very distinct personalities, so it could be entertaining to see how we squabble…discuss life and writing among us and our readers.

Mary Jo asked: "Do you want to know where we get ideas?  Would you like a scholarly dissertation on childbirth in the early 19th century?  On the history of contraceptives?  Or how crazed writers sound when they’re on deadline and the !#$%&* computer crashes? "

And I’d like an answer to that "where do you get your ideas" question because I’ve hunted high and low for mine today and they’ve apparently hidden under the desk where I can’t get at them.

So I’ll ask–where or what was the most unusual place you found an idea?  And this doesn’t just have to apply to authors–I’ve had ideas about my garden, about inventions, about making the kitchen an easier place to work.  everyone can contribute.

I don’t think it’s my most unusual idea or my most unusual place, but the combination was weird enough–when we were traveling through a forest in France with a busload of teenagers (don’t ask, the answer is painful), I suddenly had the image of a silver-haired waif floating silently between the trees, unable to speak but searching for something elusive.  That idea became one of my first books–Silver Enchantress.  I think mood speaks to me as much as anything else.

Pat

24 thoughts on “Mood and Ideas”

  1. What a wonderful idea! I have become a romance fiction blog addict because it is so comforting to talk about books and writers I love without having someone question my intelligence. And to find so many of my favorite writers in one place is a dream come true for this reader.
    Now I’m off to spead the word!

    Reply
  2. What a wonderful idea! I have become a romance fiction blog addict because it is so comforting to talk about books and writers I love without having someone question my intelligence. And to find so many of my favorite writers in one place is a dream come true for this reader.
    Now I’m off to spead the word!

    Reply
  3. What a wonderful idea! I have become a romance fiction blog addict because it is so comforting to talk about books and writers I love without having someone question my intelligence. And to find so many of my favorite writers in one place is a dream come true for this reader.
    Now I’m off to spead the word!

    Reply
  4. Bless you, Wylene, please do! There’s nothing wrong with the intelligence of anyone who reads, and I’d question the intelligence of anyone who snubs a significant part of today’s fiction without trying it first.
    So bring your friends and drop in any old time.
    Pat

    Reply
  5. Bless you, Wylene, please do! There’s nothing wrong with the intelligence of anyone who reads, and I’d question the intelligence of anyone who snubs a significant part of today’s fiction without trying it first.
    So bring your friends and drop in any old time.
    Pat

    Reply
  6. Bless you, Wylene, please do! There’s nothing wrong with the intelligence of anyone who reads, and I’d question the intelligence of anyone who snubs a significant part of today’s fiction without trying it first.
    So bring your friends and drop in any old time.
    Pat

    Reply
  7. Screwed-up people can get published. Great!
    Once, while looking out of the kitchen window and pondering what to do with my crumbling terraced garden wall, I started to imagine a woman looking out a similar but much older window and wondering about her crumbling castle. At the time, my husband and I had a minor disagreement about whether to rebuild the terrace wall with a real fieldstone facade or railroad ties and lattice. The heroine who had joined me at the window argued with her husband about the disposition of her castle. She wanted it rebuilt. He wanted it razed.
    The manuscript is currently in the hands of an agent who likes the premise (which went beyond the disagreement over the castle).

    Reply
  8. Screwed-up people can get published. Great!
    Once, while looking out of the kitchen window and pondering what to do with my crumbling terraced garden wall, I started to imagine a woman looking out a similar but much older window and wondering about her crumbling castle. At the time, my husband and I had a minor disagreement about whether to rebuild the terrace wall with a real fieldstone facade or railroad ties and lattice. The heroine who had joined me at the window argued with her husband about the disposition of her castle. She wanted it rebuilt. He wanted it razed.
    The manuscript is currently in the hands of an agent who likes the premise (which went beyond the disagreement over the castle).

    Reply
  9. Screwed-up people can get published. Great!
    Once, while looking out of the kitchen window and pondering what to do with my crumbling terraced garden wall, I started to imagine a woman looking out a similar but much older window and wondering about her crumbling castle. At the time, my husband and I had a minor disagreement about whether to rebuild the terrace wall with a real fieldstone facade or railroad ties and lattice. The heroine who had joined me at the window argued with her husband about the disposition of her castle. She wanted it rebuilt. He wanted it razed.
    The manuscript is currently in the hands of an agent who likes the premise (which went beyond the disagreement over the castle).

    Reply
  10. I’m thinking it’s only screwed up people who get published, so if you’re one of us, you’re on your way! And it certainly sounds like we’re kindred souls. I won’t let my husband see this post because that was probably us arguing over a terrace wall, although I didn’t turn it into a castle. Yet. I love that!

    Reply
  11. I’m thinking it’s only screwed up people who get published, so if you’re one of us, you’re on your way! And it certainly sounds like we’re kindred souls. I won’t let my husband see this post because that was probably us arguing over a terrace wall, although I didn’t turn it into a castle. Yet. I love that!

    Reply
  12. I’m thinking it’s only screwed up people who get published, so if you’re one of us, you’re on your way! And it certainly sounds like we’re kindred souls. I won’t let my husband see this post because that was probably us arguing over a terrace wall, although I didn’t turn it into a castle. Yet. I love that!

    Reply
  13. I just got the word about your website on the MoRWA loop. How exciting for all of you. I hope I can be in such wonderful company someday. I love the fact that you all write historicals. They’re coming back, you know. [At least that is what I have read]. Hot and heavy, so keep cranking them out.
    My question was a global field question regarding that dreaded topic of POV. I was just curious to know your approaches.
    This question coming from someone who wrote a 110,000 word historical and didn’t even know what the term was. But my compadres at MoRWA and critique have helped me with this and I thought it would be an added plus to hear your thoughts.
    This just a sidebar: I am a graphic/web designer and thought I might offer; your book links on the right bar are a fantastic selling tool. However just a thought, you may want to target a blank page to keep wordwenches active beneath. You don’t want to lose your internet audience through the link. [Just a thought.]
    Kim

    Reply
  14. I just got the word about your website on the MoRWA loop. How exciting for all of you. I hope I can be in such wonderful company someday. I love the fact that you all write historicals. They’re coming back, you know. [At least that is what I have read]. Hot and heavy, so keep cranking them out.
    My question was a global field question regarding that dreaded topic of POV. I was just curious to know your approaches.
    This question coming from someone who wrote a 110,000 word historical and didn’t even know what the term was. But my compadres at MoRWA and critique have helped me with this and I thought it would be an added plus to hear your thoughts.
    This just a sidebar: I am a graphic/web designer and thought I might offer; your book links on the right bar are a fantastic selling tool. However just a thought, you may want to target a blank page to keep wordwenches active beneath. You don’t want to lose your internet audience through the link. [Just a thought.]
    Kim

    Reply
  15. I just got the word about your website on the MoRWA loop. How exciting for all of you. I hope I can be in such wonderful company someday. I love the fact that you all write historicals. They’re coming back, you know. [At least that is what I have read]. Hot and heavy, so keep cranking them out.
    My question was a global field question regarding that dreaded topic of POV. I was just curious to know your approaches.
    This question coming from someone who wrote a 110,000 word historical and didn’t even know what the term was. But my compadres at MoRWA and critique have helped me with this and I thought it would be an added plus to hear your thoughts.
    This just a sidebar: I am a graphic/web designer and thought I might offer; your book links on the right bar are a fantastic selling tool. However just a thought, you may want to target a blank page to keep wordwenches active beneath. You don’t want to lose your internet audience through the link. [Just a thought.]
    Kim

    Reply
  16. Hi, Kim! Thanks for the clue about the blank page. We’ll forward to our webmistress since we’re all luddites who would crash the system should we so much as look at it crooked. Since I’m supposed to blog today, I’ll try my luck with POV, although heck if I know what my approach is!
    Pat

    Reply
  17. Hi, Kim! Thanks for the clue about the blank page. We’ll forward to our webmistress since we’re all luddites who would crash the system should we so much as look at it crooked. Since I’m supposed to blog today, I’ll try my luck with POV, although heck if I know what my approach is!
    Pat

    Reply
  18. Hi, Kim! Thanks for the clue about the blank page. We’ll forward to our webmistress since we’re all luddites who would crash the system should we so much as look at it crooked. Since I’m supposed to blog today, I’ll try my luck with POV, although heck if I know what my approach is!
    Pat

    Reply
  19. Hello All —
    I’m a writer running scared! If you can, please help.
    Since July 2005, I’ve spent about 15 hours a week with my head in my script conniving, contriving, and in general having a good time playing with my perceived readers’ emotions. Leading them on. Leading them away. Showing them a place they know they’ve never been while convincing them they have surely been there before. Perhaps in another time, in another life or perhaps they are there, even now, and are just coming to admit it is true. And I have about 350ish usable pages to show for it. It’s not done yet. At the rate I’m going, I might finish the book (the first of three) in about 6 months.
    I do have a plan for the trilogy– sort of. As Pat so poignantly expressed, characters can, and my certainly do, have a mind and a will all of their own – much like their creator.
    But the more I write, the closer I get to “the end”, the louder this nagging whisper grows; haunting my mind like a gray, ephemeral mist. “You know nothing,” it echoes. “Nothing of writing, nothing of prose, nothing of words. Go back, little neophyte. Go back to the land where all is solid in form and space. You know nothing of the place which you seek – the place where the Writers dwell. A place where all is black upon white yet drips with magical sound, explosive color and bitter-sweet emotions.”
    I’ve been told that writing is for the persistent. And, much to my husband’s chagrin, I am doggedly persistent. But, I am also a realist.
    Can you help me gag my grey ghost? – if he’s gaggable.
    Drowning in the mists of doubt,
    Nina

    Reply
  20. Hello All —
    I’m a writer running scared! If you can, please help.
    Since July 2005, I’ve spent about 15 hours a week with my head in my script conniving, contriving, and in general having a good time playing with my perceived readers’ emotions. Leading them on. Leading them away. Showing them a place they know they’ve never been while convincing them they have surely been there before. Perhaps in another time, in another life or perhaps they are there, even now, and are just coming to admit it is true. And I have about 350ish usable pages to show for it. It’s not done yet. At the rate I’m going, I might finish the book (the first of three) in about 6 months.
    I do have a plan for the trilogy– sort of. As Pat so poignantly expressed, characters can, and my certainly do, have a mind and a will all of their own – much like their creator.
    But the more I write, the closer I get to “the end”, the louder this nagging whisper grows; haunting my mind like a gray, ephemeral mist. “You know nothing,” it echoes. “Nothing of writing, nothing of prose, nothing of words. Go back, little neophyte. Go back to the land where all is solid in form and space. You know nothing of the place which you seek – the place where the Writers dwell. A place where all is black upon white yet drips with magical sound, explosive color and bitter-sweet emotions.”
    I’ve been told that writing is for the persistent. And, much to my husband’s chagrin, I am doggedly persistent. But, I am also a realist.
    Can you help me gag my grey ghost? – if he’s gaggable.
    Drowning in the mists of doubt,
    Nina

    Reply
  21. Hello All —
    I’m a writer running scared! If you can, please help.
    Since July 2005, I’ve spent about 15 hours a week with my head in my script conniving, contriving, and in general having a good time playing with my perceived readers’ emotions. Leading them on. Leading them away. Showing them a place they know they’ve never been while convincing them they have surely been there before. Perhaps in another time, in another life or perhaps they are there, even now, and are just coming to admit it is true. And I have about 350ish usable pages to show for it. It’s not done yet. At the rate I’m going, I might finish the book (the first of three) in about 6 months.
    I do have a plan for the trilogy– sort of. As Pat so poignantly expressed, characters can, and my certainly do, have a mind and a will all of their own – much like their creator.
    But the more I write, the closer I get to “the end”, the louder this nagging whisper grows; haunting my mind like a gray, ephemeral mist. “You know nothing,” it echoes. “Nothing of writing, nothing of prose, nothing of words. Go back, little neophyte. Go back to the land where all is solid in form and space. You know nothing of the place which you seek – the place where the Writers dwell. A place where all is black upon white yet drips with magical sound, explosive color and bitter-sweet emotions.”
    I’ve been told that writing is for the persistent. And, much to my husband’s chagrin, I am doggedly persistent. But, I am also a realist.
    Can you help me gag my grey ghost? – if he’s gaggable.
    Drowning in the mists of doubt,
    Nina

    Reply
  22. Nina, after reading the above, I assure you, you’re a writer!!!! This is precisely what every single one of us goes through every time we write a book, no matter how many times we write a book. Do you belong to Romance Writers of America? Even if you’re not writing romance, they can show you a lot about how a book works and help with critiquing. We all learn from errors, even after being published for twenty years. Nothing wrong with realizing we don’t know everything! Persistence pays, I promise.
    Pat

    Reply
  23. Nina, after reading the above, I assure you, you’re a writer!!!! This is precisely what every single one of us goes through every time we write a book, no matter how many times we write a book. Do you belong to Romance Writers of America? Even if you’re not writing romance, they can show you a lot about how a book works and help with critiquing. We all learn from errors, even after being published for twenty years. Nothing wrong with realizing we don’t know everything! Persistence pays, I promise.
    Pat

    Reply
  24. Nina, after reading the above, I assure you, you’re a writer!!!! This is precisely what every single one of us goes through every time we write a book, no matter how many times we write a book. Do you belong to Romance Writers of America? Even if you’re not writing romance, they can show you a lot about how a book works and help with critiquing. We all learn from errors, even after being published for twenty years. Nothing wrong with realizing we don’t know everything! Persistence pays, I promise.
    Pat

    Reply

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