Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My project for the evening.

I have, of course, tons of travel guides and maps for Chicago. I peruse them before my research trips in the hopes that I won't look like a (total) tourist while I'm there. But I also use them to keep track of locations. Merit (and, soon, Lily) hop around Chitown quite a bit, so it's handy to keep a running list of their travels.

But, my giant city map is looking a little worse for wear thanks to (1) too much bleed-through highlighting) and (2) the chewed-up bits on corners that have been attacked by Dog.

Solution! Jordan Ferney is about to head to Brazil, and she's provided a great post on mounting a map to foam core so that you can cover it with sweet little tags and tacks and flags. What a great idea for science fiction/fantasy writers who "map" out their universes! Don't feel constrained to keep this limited to preexisting maps. Draw or sketch your own, or use a giant map of the U.S. to plot your heroines' travels!

So sleek and shiny. I am sooooo buying foam core tonight.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Creative Spaces

Dazed Digital has an online feature about creative spaces with photos.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Photography sourcebooks

I was browsing our local bookstore last night, thinking about art and architecture and looking for some source material to help inspire the first round of edits for FIRESPELL, when I came across this doozy:

It's chock full of random photography goodness (and, although not particularly relevant for me, photography tips). I can imagine flipping through it as I'm writing a scene in a city...a park...a house for interesting details.

I've always been a fan of the tiny books in the Design Index series. They're a great design resource, offering tips on layout and fonts. If you're interested in design (for your web site? your business cards?), check them out the next time you're surrounded by books.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cloth-spine journals & such

Ali Edwards has a great guest post today with creative chica Jamaica (whose web site I regularly check for sweet crafts and projects). If you're interested in creating a field journal for your writing notes or a booklet for your source material, this would be a great technique.

This would also be a fun project if you're worldbuilding. Consider it your handmade guide to your world/city/village state!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Anna Beckman Bulletin Boards

These bulletin boards / inspiration boards created by calligrapher Anna Beckman are so fabulous they make my teeth ache. Gorgeous, and inspiring. What story do they tell you?

(Via the fabulous Jordan Ferney at Oh Happy Day).

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Brooke Reynolds recently participated in a series of guest blogs at Black Eiffel, one of my favorite design sites. As she guest blogged, she posted images of some of her (seemingly random) collections. I love the way she's photographed them, and I love the idea of idea of these small collections of random bits of stuff. Scout, one of my heroines in the forthcoming Dark Elite series, is a collector, so these are are just the kinds of collections she'd love.

Your turn! Writers--What do you collect? Do you have a hero or heroine who collects? Could any of these objects, found on a street corner, inspire a hero or heroine to act?

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Clipboard Method?

I scanned some lovely recycled three-ring binders at Target today, thinking it might be interesting to put a Novel Notebook together, but I couldn't make the plunge. I just don't think I have enough material per book to justify binders, and I'm not sure I'd ever *open* them.  But, I did see something else that sparked my interest:

I do tend to collect a few random images and notes, so I bought three gorgeous (and inexpensive, and recycled!) greenroom*eco clipboards. 

I'm using one clipboard for each book (or potential series). The clipboard for Chicagoland Vampires #3 is on top, although I have no clue what those notes say. I think they're chapter titles? Suppose I should check those. They are on a clipboard, after all. :)

Novel notebooks + office spaces

While I was prepping a guest blog today for Sidhe Vicious reviews, I ran across a post by author Lynn Viehl regarding putting together novel notebooks. Unfortunately, the link to her PDF file doesn't work anymore Lynn has even put together a set of PDFs for the notebooks. I don't have much in the way of material for Chicagoland Vampires #3 (other than the synopsis), but I'm thinking about creating one for a couple of new series on which I've been ruminating...

Also, a new link: Abundance shares brilliant--and often odd--photography. Do they inspire?

(Photo by Vee Speers)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Seasonal Inspiration Files

As the weather begins to warm here in the northern hemisphere, writers, photographers, designers and crafters are posting about food, fashion, and design that's suited for warm climes. From a peek into Ali Edwards' market basket, to a glimpse of Anne Sage's sweet summer prints and resort luxe interiors, changes in season can make for excellent inspiration.

And what better way to save--to savor--the refreshment of a change in the weather than by creating a seasonal style file? Here are some ideas to keep you visually inspired, even in the dead of winter:

1. Take photographs of the flora and fauna as the landscape around your home changes.

2. Save reminders and brochures from local farmer's markets.

3. Take a drive through the countryside. What do you see? Smell? Hear?

4. Clip magazines with seasonal ensembles. You might need an idea for resort wear when you're writing in winter.

5. Order up vacation brochures from the state of your choice. Start a state-by-state "scouting" file for potential scene locations.

And don't forget--these same ideas work in winter. Save memories of the frosty landscape around you to inspire your writing in the heat of the summer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Picture + Text = Design Profile

Looking for another way to create a design profile for your manuscript or series, but don't have the room for a full inspiration board? Think about a creating a design profile--images and text collected in a favorite notebook, sketchbook, scrapbook, presentation folder or flat box. There's a sample below to get you started. 

Do you have a design profile you'd like to share? Drop me a note at chloe [at] chloeneill [dot] com.

The Fashion=Inspired collages of Boubou Tea Time