There's a string going around the Desert Breeze Author Group asking 'Where do your ideas come from?'. It seems that we all have our own inspirations and thought processes. But I can only speak for myself . . .
That imp, Muse, can be playful, encouraging or illusive - and I have no control of her. She often acts like a petulant child. She does not present herself when called. There are times when she doesn't even bother to answer.
Even when she does honor me with her presence, she can be miserly and give me only the briefest glimpses of an idea. It's like that 'thing' you've been trying to remember--the one that's always just out of reach.
Case in point . . . I've spent the last several years polishing my book and sending it out into the cold, cruel world. Yes, I know you get a lot of rejections before someone sees that you have something. Believe me, I've have a lovely collection - both email and snail mail - rejection letters; some nicer than others.
And, then a true Christmas miracle! Desert Breeze sent me a contract - not for just the first book in my series - but all five. I was ecstatic and then terrified. I worked hard to get everything required finished in good time. In fact, I beat my February first deadline by three days. Then I kind of drifted. I wasn't sure what to do next.
I had an idea in one of the plethora of steno notebooks that litter my house - something I'd actually thought about almost thirty-five years ago. (Writing with a computer really is a God-send for someone just a teensy bit obsessive/compulsive--but that's another blog.) And, to be honest, I touched on the idea in an earlier blog. I was 'playing' with it, but not really working.
Then, something my wonderful mentor said lit a fire in me. I jumped on the work train. I like working with images in front of me - so, I made a big bulletin board and starting pinning things up. I got out my ancient white and chalk boards, ordered two mew ones and starting scribbling.
I'd had an idea in the middle of the night - and I wrote it down - because, I turned sixty last week - enough said there. BTW: You should always have notebooks in your purse and car, along with writing implements. I recommend mechanical pencils - erasable and no sharpener required. I also sleep with a notebook with a mechanical pencil clipped on. I used to have one of those tiny book lights--but since it died, I just scribble in the dark. As long as you transcribe it in the morning, you'll get the gist of it.
So, anyway, I'd blocked out the basic idea - pinned it up and kept looking at it. (I also try and think about things as I fall asleep.) Later, I expanded the idea into a bulleted list and started surfing the internet for some research information.
Then Muse showed up; and now all bets are off. She's sign-posted several possible plot paths for that original idea. She's also given me an idea for a brand new series - which may or may not be 'romance based'.
The bottom line is that if you're patient, your muse will appear. The trick is to not try and lead her--follow her. Because, when she is in a generous and communicative mood, she can be a bountiful spirit.
You see, that old adage is true - 'When it rains, it pours.'