Do you have a place where you like to daydream?
Where are you when your best ideas arrive?
When are you likely to solve a troubling problem?
When do answers to questions pop into your mind?
What makes your muse want to chat?
I did a fantastic workshop recently with Susan Wiggs called Plotting from the Inside Out in Melbourne at the conference of the Romance Writers of Australia. Her suggestion to look for a white space where there are minimal distractions really struck a chord with me.
That white space place is priceless! Somewhere special to us that allows our thoughts to wander where they will, explore things without judgement, maybe allow us time out from a difficult situation. And sometimes the things we learn or realise along the way can be a revelation!
I know my lovely friend, Anna Campbell, has her gorgeous swimming pool. She floats in the silky blue waters and dreams up gripping dilemmas for her Regency heroes and heroines.
My place is a motorcycle helmet!
My muse obviously loves a snug claustrophobic space. That protective fibreglass capsule lined with polystyrene foam and sponge cushioning seems to be a signal to my characters to spill their secrets!
I tried, very briefly, to be wired for sound - a two-way intercom so I could talk to my husband or listen to a music tape. With great diplomacy, I had to say to him "nothing personal, darling, but unplug me! Please!" I needed the hum of the engine, tendrils of wind creeping under my collar, scenery whipping past. No words to respond to, just the sounds and scents and sensations of the open road! Fortunately, he's well used to the vagaries of living with a writer so he understood immediately!
And I've realised I haven't had nearly enough helmet-time lately...
so.... darling, where are the bike keys?! My muse needs to hit the open road!
Published on the Medical Author Group Blog on eHarlequin on 29 August 2011