Saturday, June 13, 2015

Five Things That Inspire Me

New summer header starts on the blog today. This is of a beach in the Ionian sea taken by Tamara83 and licensed through Shutterstock.

One of the questions that pops up a lot in chats and so forth is where do I find inspiration, and photos are a great source of ideas. Not just ideas…because inspiration isn’t just an cerebral thing. Inspiration has to be at least partly...trigger. Drive? Impetus? It’s emotion and urgency and the need to create or put into action.

Seeing that it’s about time for another one of those quarterly FIVE THINGS I LOVE blogs, I thought maybe we could put a different twist on it and offer up five things that inspire you. Er, me. And you.

For me, photographs, old and new. And vintage postcards. I love vintage postcards. Those muted, slightly unnatural colors and depictions of a world lost to time. I have a number of them from Catalina where I hope to set the next Doyle and Spain story one of these days.

Music. I don’t know a more powerful medium for reaching across cultures and politics. This is “Didn’t Know,” a song by Laura Browne-Sorenson (among other things, she did the music for my last two book trailers).

“But you stand out among the faces,

Choir robes and shoe laces”

Gets me every time.

Rain. Rain makes me want to write. I don’t know why that would be, but nothing gets me in the mood to write like rain--especially if a fireplace is involved.

Swimming. Water again? But yes, I get many good ideas for writing while I’m swimming. Or even just floating. A long, quiet swim is both inspirational and centering. Walking is good too. But swimming is better.

Dreams. Yes, I’ve actually got ideas for stories from dreams. More so when I was younger. I don’t have many “story dreams” anymore, though I did spend a lot of last night trying to preserve a basket of new born kittens. Since I’m allergic to cats, there’s no doubt a goldmine of psychic weirdness going on there. I used to have wonderful, scary, elaborate adventurous dreams. Now my dreams are much more confused (though still elaborate) and have to do more with losing paperwork or turning up on the day of a final after missing class all semester.

Bruce Rolff licensed thru Shutterstock

So what about you? What do you find inspirational? And what are you inspired to do?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Confessions of a Home Owner

Well, the first confession is that I'm not by any means a first time homeowner. But it's different this time. This time it feels like true love. ;-)

If you've been following the blog--although that would not be easy, given the fact I've missed posting how many weeks?--you know that the SO and I have been in the process of buying a house since December. Wait. Not the same house, though the process did feel that lengthy at times. First we fell in love with a house on New Year's Eve. That fell through, but then we found another house. A really glorious house. And we've been moving in for a couple of weeks.

Yes, we are still moving in.

It's a lengthy process because for two weeks I was finishing up Winter Kill and then we finally seriously got to shifting stuff...though not the big stuff, not the real furniture because...the SO keeps having panic attacks at the thought of boxing up his office (and if you could see his office, you'd have a panic attack too--I know I do when I open That Door).

So I am horrendously, embarrassingly behind on email and social media. From the moment the loan went through everything came to a screeching halt. I had a book release and I haven't even bothered to check my sales. What does that tell you? I am now focusing on catching up, but it's taking a bit of time because we're still painting and hanging curtains and blowing up the pool pump (almost--disaster was narrowly averted) and hunting for missing steak knives and so forth.

We're at the stage where no matter which house we're in, what we need is always at the other house.

But we are happy. We love this house. The kitchen is big enough for two people to cook and talk and drink wine and eat cheese. The pool is small as pools go, but plenty big enough for us. And the garden smells like jasmine and gardenia -- the chimes are always tinkling on the breeze. The tile in the bath is Catalina blue. The light is...amazing. So many windows. I keep walking into rooms thinking I left a lamp on only to find it's sunlight streaming through.

So I thought I'd share a few select photos since you've shared this journey with me for months now. After this, I'll shut up about the house and we'll get back to talking books and writing and publishing.

You have to understand that the place is still a work in progress....

My office

Dining room

Legendary swimming pool

World famous wet bar

Family room

Kitchen (don't judge!)

So that's the grand tour. Hope you enjoyed it. Don't forget to collect all your belongings before exiting the bus!